Humans are inextricably linked to oil and our relationship with ‘black gold’ has been going on for centuries.
This essential natural resource has a fascinating history and an interesting future ahead, so read on to discover ten incredible facts about oil:
The first record of mass oil production dates back to the year 327 when engineers in China utilized bamboo pipes to drill into the earth and extract the substance, which they called burning water. This oil wasn’t used as fuel but as a tool for evaporating brine to get salt.
To date, the deepest offshore oil well known as Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon reached depths of nearly 11,000 metres in 2009, but the record was short lived as the Deepwater Horizon exploded just a few months later.
The world’s oldest oil well has been around for over 150 years. The McClintock in Pennsylvania produced its first oil in 1861 and is still working today. At the height of its use the well produced up to fifty barrels of oil every day but now ekes out just twelve barrels a month.
Saudi Arabia is home to the world’s largest oil field, discovered in 1951 the oil field spans and enormous 50 km by 15 km. It’s estimated that the Safaniya field holds enough oil to fulfil demand in the US for five years.
The biggest offshore gas field in the world is situated on the Persian Gulf. At nearly 10,000 square metres the South Pars/North Dome holds over 50 trillion cubic metres of gas and straddles Iran and Qatar almost 3,000 metres below the seabed.
Nearly five million barrels worth of oil flooded the Persian Gulf when the Macondo well, being drilled by Deepwater Horizon blew up, a huge oil cleaning operation was started costing millions and causing significant damage to the environment.
Thunder Horse PDQ is the largest oil platform in the world. Owned by ExxonMobil and BP, the Thunder Horse and weighs nearly 60,000 tonnes.
The $800 million dollar Kizomba A, owned by ExxonMobil is the world’s largest oil storage facility and can hold more than 2 million barrels of oil.
The world’s smallest oil storage facility is owned by Roc Oil and can hold up to 10,000 barrels of oil at any one time.
Oil is not necessary. The world relies heavily upon oil to drive cars, fly planes and operate machinery but in fact we can utilise renewable energy sources for all of these things.
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