Petroleum Industry

By definition the petroleum industry refers to terms such as exploration, extraction, refining, transporting and marketing. This is a logical process that takes crude oil up to the refined product which is used in most of the industrial areas. Our civilization depends on this raw material more than we realize. Things like pharmaceuticals, solvents, pesticides, plastics, chemical products or fertilizers, are produced with the help of the petroleum.

One can divide the petroleum industry into three categories: upstream, midstream and also downstream. The upstream term refers to the searching and extraction of oil, the midstream level refers to processes, transportation and marketing while the downstream term means refining, selling and distributing the oil.

The petroleum industry has its roots back in time, thousands of years ago, reaching to areas like economy, politics and also technology. People have always been interested in petroleum as this raw material has played an important role in mankind civilisation process.

It is said that people had used the petroleum since ancient times, and as the legend goes by, the Babylonians used it to raise walls.

Since 1800s people used it to produce light as fuel for lamps since there weren't enough resources to collect large amounts of oil in order to be used in economical purposes.

As the time went by, the exploration techniques have developed and people acknowledged its importance. Throughout the 1900s the production of crude oil has increased reaching up to 150 million barrels.

Once the techniques have developed and the market demands rose, so was the productivity. The appearance of new inventions such as automobiles, motors and the airplanes, made the market explode introducing the gasoline as an industrial product.

The environment has suffered changes also. Some oil industries hold the responsibility of polluting the waters through processes like refining and water spills. The greenhouse effect is also a negative impact of the petroleum industry over the environment, which is continuously changing.

Nowadays the petroleum industry has a major impact in our lives economically and politically too. Countries that have large amounts of petroleum reserves such as Middle East states, like Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Qatar, Kuwait or states like Russia or United States of America, have not only registered an economical progress by selling the oil to other states but a political power also. Petroleum is used in almost all the industries therefore it can be defined as the revolutionary discovery of our times.

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