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History of the Oil Industry

History of the Oil Industry

By David L Greene

Five thousand years back in the Middle East, oil was drilled out of the ground for daily use by people. They painted their boat surfaces with crude oil to make them waterproof. They also used it for certain medications. Apart from that, it was also used for lighting residential regions.

Earlier, whale oil was used for lighting purposes, but this resulted in a decrease in the whale population, which led to the rise in prices of oil. Hence the demand raced out the supply, resulting in adverse conditions.

Companies searched for alternatives and long lasting resources of oil. Coal oil was used for a certain period. It was then when coal was referred to as ‘black gold’. Later, the ground was drilled to extract crude oil and the demand was met on a large scale.

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First Oil Wells: The Gulf of Mexico gave a smile to the refiners for the first time when the land was drilled to extract crude oil. The land was drilled 100 meters deep for the extraction. Later structured wells were constructed by oil companies. European oil wells were constructed in 1920. The greatest investment project was launched in 1969 at the North Sea. Greenland and Scottish water bodies were also studied by geologists for crude oil production.

North UK Sea Tragedy: The year 1988 was challenging for European oil gangs as it brought the infamous North UK tragedy. The wells at the European sea caught fire, leading to a mass destruction and casualties. One hundred and sixty people were killed while working at the site. Lord Cullen studied the cause and concluded that the reason was failure in the operation of permit-to-work-system.

This system created communication barriers, which led to the change in safety policies of oil industry. Many safety precaution equipments such as fire extinguishers, life boat stations, and emergency master stations were used. A number of steps were taken to save workers as well as to prevent wastage of oil, which was already facing a shortage.

These days the oil industry has developed a lot in all sectors- from technology to safety policies. Oil companies have a lot of competition and thus they come up with innovative plans to outwit their rivals. Accidents happen, but regular safety procedures have cut down on destruction and loss of production.

From installations to policy formation, all processes are properly documented. All oil industry employees attend safety meetings to keep things out of harm’s way. New reports and studies are being carried out to increase safety awareness, procedures and regulations.

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