Since the ancient times, mankind uses oil as fuel. Today, it is one of the fossil resources on which the entire world economy rests. And what is oil for us, ordinary people? This is the body of smartphone or laptop, the displays of which you are now watching, and even your shirt, sweater, blouse (other attributes of clothing) are likely sewn from fabrics containing synthetic and semi-synthetic fibers, obtained from oil. And we eat this black gold, we use it in medicine and cosmetology. By the way, do you know that crude can be green, brown, yellow, red, and even colorless? Then, it’s time to enrich the intellectual bank with knowledge of the most indispensable raw materials for the industry.
1. In the 5-6 millennium BC the civilizations of the Indus Valley and Euphrates used oil as a binder in housing construction, and later bitumen and black oil were used by Babylonians in shipbuilding to seal joints and seams. Blocks of the famous Egyptian pyramids in Giza literally “glued” with bitumen.
2. The great strategists and conquerors Tamerlane and Nadir Shah used camels loaded with oil casks to scare off Indian war elephants, who panically retreated by burning oil.
3. With the help of oil, the peoples of the Caspian basin treated their camels for mange.
4. Drilling was invented by the Chinese. The first wells were drilled with the cable tool percussion method, and oil was pumped out through bamboo pipes, presumably in the 2 Millennium BC.
5. In the Middle ages Caspian oil was transported in bags made of sealskin and in some areas sheepskin was used for transportation.
6. Until the early 20th century, oil was considered an excellent cure for diphtheria.
7. The first ever self-propelled oil tanker “Zoroaster”, built at the end of the 19th century, was sunk in the middle of the 20th century along with six decommissioned vessels near the Azerbaijani coast of the Caspian sea in order to create a platform for a new offshore field.
8. In 1859, the English chemist Robert Chesebrough invented a new product – “petroleum jelly” or Vaseline. The scientist, who ate a spoon of Vaseline daily, lived 96 years.
9. Oil moves through the pipeline at a speed of 5-10 km per hour.
10. The pipeline method of oil transfer was first proposed by the famous Russian scientist Dmitry Mendeleev. He argued that burning oil in furnaces near fields was inefficient, it should be transported to the main centers of consumption and processing.
11. In most European languages, crude oil originates from the Greek “petroleum” (rock oil) or of the Persian word “naphtha”. The exception are a few Western Slavic nations, such as the Poles, Czechs and Slovaks, who call crude as “ropa”, meaning “rot”.
12. The Chinese called and still call oil “Shi-you”, which can be translated as “rock oil.”
13. The oldest operating oil refinery, and simultaneously the smallest one, is located in the Indian city Digboi. It processes a little be more than 600 thousand tons of oil per year. It was built in 1901.
14. The oldest oil producing well is the McClintock # 1 well in Titusville, Pennsylvania, USA. The production there is carried out since 1861.
15. The world’s largest oil platform is located at the Norwegian Troll field. It rises 472 meters above sea level.
16. The deepest-ever oil well was drilled in November 2017 on the Russian field Sakhalin-1. Its depth reached 15,000 meters.
17. If the oil rush started a few decades later, not in the 1860s, the world’s fauna would permanently loss the sperm whales. The fat of this marine mammal was the main raw material for the production of kerosene.
18. The oil price record was set in 2012, when Brent was quoted at $ 111.63 per barrel.
19. Oil is measured in barrels due to one historical fact. In 1866, in the United States, the group of businessmen decided to start an oil business and used to transport crude in casks of 159 liters, in which oil, wine and other liquid were transported. These casks was considered the most suitable for transportation by rail. Later, the volume of 159 liters was approved as a unit of measurement of oil.
20. At the end of February, Iceland had the highest gasoline prices in the world, equaling about 1.7 € per liter. However, a bottle of water is still more expensive than motor fuel.
Based on materials of OilPrice.com