Petroleum Industry

Contrary to what many people think the petroleum industry is not a recent phenomenon. It has been in existence in various forms over several centuries now. Historical references for instance point out the use of asphalt in the construction of walls in Babylon more than four thousand years ago. Inscriptions have been found on ancient Persian tablets that indicate the existence of petroleum during ancient times. One can say that the petroleum industry as such began when the earliest known oil wells were drilled. It was done in China sometime in 347 C.E. These primitively designed oil wells were drilled up to a depth of around 200 meters some form of drilling bits which were attached to bamboo poles. Many historical references point out the wide use of petroleum in countries such as Japan and China during ancient times.

Middle East Petroleum industry

The currently booming Middle East petroleum industry also has a long and cherished history of its own. Early historical references point out the use of tar for paving the streets of Baghdad. This tar was derived from the easily available petroleum in the region. It was during the 9th century that oil deposits in and around the area of what is now Baku in Azerbaijan were exploited for the extraction of petroleum and the production of naphtha. These oil fields in Baku have been vividly described by Marco Polo who came to the region during the 13th century.

Petroleum industry in the United States of America.

The petroleum industry also has a long history in the United States of America. The earliest account of petroleum in America points out the presence of oil springs in the region around Trinidad Pitch Lake way back in 1595. Peter Kalm, a Russian traveler also points out to oil springs in the region of Pennsylvania in his works which were published in 1748. The modern history of the petroleum industry began when the process of refining kerosene from raw coal was discovered by Abraham Pinoe Gesner in the year 1846. Then there was no looking back for the growth of the petroleum industry throughout the world. The first Russian refinery came up at Baku during the year 1861. This was the time when Baku accounted for around 90% of the world’s oil production. The petroleum industry in the United States of America was kickstarted by the establishment of the Seneca Oil Company near Titusville in 1859.

During the 1800s the growth was gradual and quite slow. The demand during the early part of the period was mainly driven by oil lamps and kerosene. Once the internal combustion engine was discovered there was a surge in the demand for petroleum products. By the early 1900s, oil fields were also discovered in places such as Canada, Iran, Mexico, Venezuela, and Peru.

Today almost 90 percent of the energy requirements of the transportation sector are met by the petroleum industry. The petroleum industry is the one industry in the world that is closely watched by almost everyone around the world. Even the minutest fluctuations in oil prices are enough to cause significant changes in the economies of hundreds of countries around the world. The importance of the petroleum industry can be gauged from the fact that there have been several wars that have been fought for petrol in recent times. The top three countries today when it comes to the production of oil are Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the US. The petroleum industry too continues to thrive due to the demand for petroleum products throughout the world.

By ukpia