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How oil came into use in our civilisation

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posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 04:06 PM
Just a few facts about how oil came to be in our lives.

Oil has been known and used for a long time; the Bible even mentions it as a construction cement. But its uses changed with the invention of the automobile.

Oil has been known since ancient times and was chiefly used as a liniment or medicine, not as a fuel. The Bible, for example, refers to “pitch” being used for building purposes in Babylon. Other common uses included caulking boats and dressing wounds. It wasn't until the refining process was developed in the 1850's that oil was used as a fuel.

At first, black oil bubbled from natural springs in many localities such as Western Pennsylvania, but no one knew how to extract it until the interesting if not persistant Edwin Drake constructed the first make-shift oil derrick in 1859 in that same area. His well was 70 feet deep and produced a reported 15 barrels per day. The surrounding area quickly boomed, and the modern oil industry was born. But its original uses were not what you might think; according to a Yale chemistry professor's report at the time, rock oil could be refined and employed for illumination (kerosene for lanterns), lubrication, and other uses.

The "other uses" would have to wait another 30 years to be realized when the first combustion engine vehicle was built in Germany in 1889 by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach (prior to this, engines ran on steam). Powered by the first 1.5 hp two-cylinder gasoline engine, it had a four-speed transmission and traveled at 10 mph. Despite this, the demand for oil as automobile fuel was not that high - yet.
The Modern Oil Industry

The idea of the gasoline-powered automobile didn't really catch on until the turn of the century, with only a handful of manufacturers in Europe and the United States. It was Ford's implementation of the assembly line that really got the ball rolling for the future of the automobile, and soon Texas and Oklahoma became the centers of U.S. oil production to help fill the growing demand for fuel. Following World War II, the Middle East became a major supplier of oil for the U.S. as well.

Today, oil is used in the making of everything from curtains to many over-the-counter vitamins and pain relievers, from dish soaps to canned goods. But what is oil. really?

According to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers online, crude oil is a natural liquid that is made up of mainly hydrogen and carbon molecules and is usually discovered deep underground. The viscous substance is formed from the fossilization of plants and animals. Fossilized plant and animal matter (dinosaurs reportedly providing much of this) holds many trapped hydrogen and carbon molecules, but the chemical breakdown of these elements can take millions of years as they need to be heated and pressurized to create the substance we call oil.

And if you are a newly fossilized molecule, working your way to the center of the earth to be heated and pressurized, it isn’t exactly a brisk walk in the park. Further, in a world that consumes 80 million barrels (according to msnbc online) of petroleum products per day this rather lengthy process creates some supply problems.
Oil as Non-renewable Resource

The earth's ponderously and monumentally slow process of creating oil (supply), in turn, affects price (demand). As we track the price of oil through the years (treating political events as peripheral) we can easily see supply and demand at work. According to WTRG Economics and their online article, "Oil Price History and Analysis," in the post World War II era the median for the domestic and the adjusted world price of crude oil was $18.53 per barrel (in 2006 prices). At the time this article was written, according to msnbc online, oil futures contracts through July 2009 are now trading well above $70 a barrel, which is seemingly in line with what some scientists are predicting for the furture of oil supply.

Most think oil production will reach its decline sometime between the years of 2005 and 2010 because there simply won’t be any more of it - unless new pockets are found. Even so, the overwhelming sentiment is that the resource is finite, at least in the sense that it won't be renewed for another couple of million years or so. All of this, indeed, causes problems in such an oil-dependent society, so don’t expect prices at the pump to drop any time soon.

What is troubling about all of this is that no matter what the cost, consumption has not fallen off in any meaningful or sustained way. According to the Energy Information Administration, total consumption of oil products is projected to decrease 650,000 bbl/d by the end of this year but will rise again 310,000 bbl/d in 2010 due to "anticipated modest economic recovery." While this may at first seem a net gain against fuel consumption by the numbers alone it also shows a continued dependence on supplies that are all too quickly disappearing.

In a 1997 article by USA Today, Craig B. Hatfield, a University of Toledo (Ohio) geologist, issued this warning: "In 2011, we will have consumed half of all the producible oil we have ever had if the oil consumption rate stops growing and holds constant at its current level. If the consumption rate continues to grow, as it does every year, we will reach the midpoint of production during the first decade of the coming century."

Oil and Politics, and Production

Of course geologists are notoriously gloomy when it comes to the future of oil supply, and it is often hard to tell what the real facts are. It does seem to be generally agreed upon, however, that the resource is most assuredly coming to an end; it is just that nobody knows exactly when that end will be. According to the journal Science in an article written by Dr. Leonardo Maugeri in 2004, "... although hydrocarbon resources are irrefutably finite, no one knows just how finite. Oil is... difficult to estimate... Substitution is simply a matter of cost and public needs, not of scarcity... [and has] invariably led to bad political decisions."

I just think there is alot that folk would like to know about the oil and how we came to use it so i put this up there is a wee bit more i will post in a minute!


posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 04:11 PM
Lack of political foresight is a sentiment simultaneously echoed by relevant discourse on-line. Sites such as the one put up by the Cato Institute stress that oil companies alone do not set the price of crude. There are other quite larger variables that come into play like volatile geopolitical situations in oil-producing countries, the increased demand of fast-growing and industrializing nations like India and China, and the pervasive fear of traders that the supply will not remain stable for long (and by all accounts it will not, which is why we will never again see $1.50 at the pump).

The prescription for all of this is, as with so many things, education. In the 2005 Hirsch Report, funded by the Department of Energy, Robert Hirsch asserts a clear and irrevokable peaking of the world's oil production, consequences for continued dependency on the fossil fuel, and appropriate solutions for moving away from it, including large-scale research, development, and implementation of programs for alternative sources of energy.
Alternatives to Crude Oil?

According to a report written by Lee Dye and published by ABC News on-line, one of the present alternatives is ethanol, but David Pimentel of Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences says it takes a whopping 11 acres to produce enough ethanol for one year for one car. This same land can feed seven people for the same amount of time. Further, about half the cost of every gallon of synthetic oil produced in this country goes to federal and local taxes, thereby making the process of manufacturing ethanol unprofitable without government subsidies (now around 50 cents/gallon).

Meanwhile, tar sands (which are exactly what they sounds like), hydrogen, wind, solar, and other new technologies like making oil from garbage all loom distantly as potential future solutions. The trouble is that no one can tell which will be "net energy losers," meaning it takes more energy to produce than to use, and which will not.

Currently, biodiesel stands as one of the most emergent domestically produced alternatives, and in 1998 a jointly sponsored study by the US Departments of Energy and Agriculture concluded "biodiesel reduces net carbon dioxide emissions by 78 percent" compared to its petroleum counterpart. But it too has its pluses and pitfalls, and it will most likely take a combination of alternative energy sources to produce on a hulking scale what is needed to feed this fuel-ravenous nation.

I am spurred on now to look at ethanol and other alternative fuel sources now, and i thought yous would be interested in how oil came to be if you didnt already know!

I don't think i have to add anything about the "accident" but i think that it is really terrible and who knows what will happen if it leak's for alot longer than they are estimating, i dread to think, and i hope it dosen't turn into somethink "biblical" as i think enough damage has been done already!!


[edit on 4-6-2010 by watsgoingon?]

posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 04:24 PM
Not to contrary OP
good subject this is a big part of the whole problem politically around the world
Even the pirates.
the gulf and Nigeria
the petro death Is HUGE
the death of the oceans food chains was predicted by Half past ahuman in sept 09...
and here it is

Deisel originally designed his engin to run on veggie / hemp oil.

That was sqaushed by monopolistic powers to create the horrible
Petro political death cult machine we all now live in.

The horizon oil rig was driilling at like 5 to six miles down;
fossile fuel? Dinos lived that deep?

The russians PROVED oil is adabiotic (not biotic)

BP alone has enough oil CAPPED on the North Slope to run the states full bore for they say for a long long time.

There are two natural gas fields in the north east US they say 200 years worth of all fuels...

When you get down to it the conniptions that are being used to make power and profit from oil are about the most destructive man mad(e) evil the world has ever seen.

who wound up with Iraq's oil?
who controls the capped wells in the north slope?
tighten up the supply drive up the price

Any school yard dope dealer can tell ya:
get em hooked cheap, then when the hook is set
shorten supply...
and JAMMIT to em with the price!

heres a link regarding GWBs connection to oil royalty

[edit on 4-6-2010 by Danbones]

[edit on 4-6-2010 by Danbones]

posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 04:47 PM
Are you Jeremy Perkins? If not you really should give him credit for his research and writing:

History of Crude Oil

posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 04:51 PM
I think its safe to say oil is more important through history then we give credit

posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 05:48 PM

Originally posted by broahes
Are you Jeremy Perkins? If not you really should give him credit for his research and writing:

History of Crude Oil

thank you as you know i diligently researched this and typed it all out myself....

I just added it as you know some people dont think to look at this and it is interesting even if not entirely accurate. Or maybe i'm a dis-info agent

Also it seems we are a civilisation of bi-pedal sheep who won't think to look until they are influenced to do so, And ATS gives us the platform to show an all manner of subjects for people to educate themselves on what really goes on and also what doesn't go on too

Hope some of you like to read this OP


posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 06:01 PM
reply to post by watsgoingon?

I did enjoy the read, I was just pointing that out.

Thanks for the reply.


posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 06:19 PM

Oil has been known since ancient times and was chiefly used as a liniment or medicine, not as a fuel.

I Disagree with that point.

It is very difficult to say when and where the first oil lamp was used. This is partly because it is difficult to draw a line detailing when the primitive forms of creating a continuous source of light from fire can be termed a lamp. The first lamps were made of naturally occurring objects, coconuts, sea shells, egg shells and hollow stones. Some believe that the first proper lamps were carved from stones. Carved stone lamps were found in places dated to the 10th millennium BCE. (Mesolithic, Middle Stone Age Period, circa 10,300 - 8000 BCE)


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