Oil was likely first discovered in the Middle East, in what is now Iran. The Achaemenid Empire army used oil in fire weapons as they invaded castles and cities in the sixth century B.C.Continue Reading
Oil and petroleum products have been in use for centuries, beginning in the Middle East. The Greek historian Herodotus described the presence of oil pits in Babylon, present day Iraq, in 450 B.C. Alexander the Great often used oil-fueled torches to frighten his enemies. Another Greek historian, Plutarch, described oil bubbling up from the ground in Kirkuk.
Oil was not only found in the Middle East, but in China as well. In 347 A.D., the Chinese were using bamboo to drill oil from the ground. Explorer Marco Polo described the Baku people, in present day Azerbaijan, using oil from seeps for lighting and medicine.
Oil has a long history in America; early explorers to the area observed oil slicks off the coast of California. The first oil well that produced oil on a commercial level in the United States was the Beatty Well, located in southeastern Kentucky. Before that, a well was drilled in Ohio for salt water, but the well was found to contain oil instead.Learn more about Natural Resources
Common examples of fossil fuels include natural gas, oil, peat and coal. These fuels are organic biomass extracted from the remains of primitive organisms that roamed the planet millions of years ago.Full Answer >
Coal, oil and natural gas all produce heat energy when burned. These fuels were formed by the remains of organisms that existed millions of years ago. Heat from these fuels is used to convert water into steam, which is then used to power turbines that generate electricity.Full Answer >
The U.S. Energy Information Administration provides current spot prices for oil on its website, as of 2015. The prices are provided in weekly releases that show the daily values from the previous week, according to EIA. Other media outlets, such as Bloomberg and CNN Money, also report daily values.Full Answer >
North America has plentiful oil and mineral deposits and fertile soils and fresh water that promote forest growth and the timber industry and highly successful agriculture. It is the third-largest continent and has the most climate variation.Full Answer >