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18. Reading Skills Comprehension: Oil Spills on Sea

Oil Spills on Sea

 Read the passage given below carefully:

During the Gulf War, a few years back, tens of thousands of seabirds were killed due to oil spills. Do you know what makes crude oil on ocean water so deadly?

Crude oil is not used in the same state it is produced at the off-shore wells. it is converted in refineries into a wide range of products such as gasoline, kerosene, diesel, fuel oils, and petrochemical feed-stocks. Before it is refined, the oil also contains potentially fatal components.

Crude oil is made up of compounds of carbon and hydrogen called hydrocarbons. These hydrocarbons may be paraffin, the oil that is used as fuel in heaters and lamps or cycloparaffins (naphthenes) or aromatic compounds in varying proportions. While crude oil found in the US is mostly paraffinic, that found along the Gulf Coast are naphthenic which contain sulphur compounds in varying amounts, a small amount of nitrogen and very little oxygen. Every variety of crude oil has nickel and vanadium in high concentration. Iron may be found in organic form due to the corrosion of pipes. Paraffin like methane and ethane are asphyxiants, substances that cause suffocation. The effects of cycloparaffins are more or Less similar to those of the paraffin but unsaturated paraffin are more noxious than the saturated ones. The sulphur present in crude oil may be toxic. The mechanism of toxic action seems to involve its breakdown to hydrogen sulphide. They will act principally on the nervous system with death resulting mainly from respiratory paralysis. Sulphur in the form of aromatic thiophenes, benzothiophenes can damage the livers and kidneys of sea animals. Sulphur compounds Like mercaptans can be very dangerous too.

On the basis of your reading of the above passage, choose the correct options from the ones given. Write the correct option In your answer sheet:

(a) Thousands of sea birds were killed due to oil spills because ____________

(1) it suffocated them                                 (ii) it was poisonous

(iii) birds couldn’t enter the sea             (iv) there was no fish to feed on

(b) The primary components of crude oil are ____________

(i) methane and ethane                            (ii) carbon and hydrogen

(iii) sulphur compounds                            (iv) naphthenes

(c) Paraffin is used _____________

(i) to make hydrocarbons                         (ii) as fuel

(iii) in refineries                                          (iv) in petrochemicals

(d) Sulphur in crude oil _____________

(i) damages nervous system                    (ii) damages the livers and kidneys

(iii) causes suffocation                              (iv) causes respiratory problems

(e) Every variety of crude oil contains _____________ in excess.

(i) sulphur         (ii) oxygen            (iii) nitrogen           (iv) nickel

(f) Asphyxiants cause death by

(i) drowning     (ii) suffocation    (iii) wounds             (iv) cancer

(g) The word ‘refined’ means _____________

(I) pure              (ii) impure            (iii) fine                     (iv) nice


(a) (1)                (b) (ii)               

(c) (ii)                (d) (i)                    

(e) (iv)               (f) (ii)            

(g) (i)

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