Energy timelines - oil

   
Petroleum is a fossil fuel. It is called a fossil fuel because it was formed from the remains of tiny sea plants and animals that died millions of years ago. When the plants and animals died, they sank to the bottom of the oceans. Here, they were buried by thousands of feet of sand and silt. Over time, this organic mixture was subjected to enormous pressure, and heat as the layers increased. The mixture changed, breaking down into compounds made of hydrogen and carbon atoms--hydrocarbons. Finally, an oil-saturated rock-much like a wet household sponge was formed.
   
   
3000 B.C.
Mesopotamians of that era used rock oil in architectural adhesives, ship caulks, medicines, and roads.
 
2000 B.C.
The Chinese refined crude oil for use in lamps and in heating homes.
 
600-700 A.D.
Arab and Persian chemists discovered that petroleum’s lighter elements could be mixed with quicklime to make Greek fire, the napalm of its day.
 
1750 A
French military officer noted that Indians living near Fort Duquesne (now the site of Pittsburgh) set fire to an oil-slicked creek as part of a religious ceremony. As settlement by Europeans proceeded, oil was discovered in many places in northwestern Pennsylvania and western New York-to the frequent dismay of the well-owners, who were drilling for salt brine.
 
1859
Oil was first discovered when a homemade rig drilled down 70 feet and came up coated with oil. This rig was near Titusville (in northwestern Pennsylvania) and was owned by "Colonel" Edwin L. Drake.
 
1950-present
Oil became our most used energy source because of automobiles.
 
 
 
     

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