American oil workers
History

Petroleum in the Americas

327

The first time American crude oil was mentioned was in an account by Sir Walter Raleigh, the celebrated hero of Britain. He visited the Trinidad pitch lake in 1595 and made a mention of it in his writings. Incidentally, the Trinidad pitch lake is the world’s biggest asphalt deposit. The ‘lake’ is spread over 40 hectares and is said to be at least 75 meters deep in places.

Thirty seven years after Sir Walter Raleigh’s account, we have the account of a Franciscan clergyman, Joseph de la Roche d’Allion, who saw oil springs at New York. Peter Kalm, a Russian adventurer went a step further and drew a map of Pennsylvanian oil springs in 1748.

Native Americans were already using petroleum before the pioneers came

Native Americans were the first people to use petroleum in the Americas and they employed it in medicine, magic and in painting. The American pioneers used this oil in medicines (they bought it from the Native Americans) and it came to be called Seneca oil.

The first commercial oil well was dug in the US by E. L Drake, an oil prospector and that was the beginning of the petroleum industry. The oil well was dug at Oil Creek in Pennsylvania, which later became famous by the name of Titusville. Soon, many oil wells came to be dug in the region. One petroleum derivative, Kerosene later replaced candles and whale oil lamps, being used until then. Petroleum was used for little else until the gasoline engine was developed. Now, the US is the one of the largest producers of petroleum in the world and also one of the largest consumers.

  • Saudis Russians Oil Production Cut Extension

    Saudis and Russians Come Together on Oil Production Cut Extension

    The three-year slide of oil prices has delivered a major hit to the financial stature of Saudi Arabia, primarily because of their status as the world’s top oil producer. While that title has seemingly fluctuated in the past year with Russia, the economic punch that those two nations provide has the ability to provide an…

  • saudi arabia equtorial guinea economic forum

    Saudi Arabia and Equatorial Guinea Come Together

    During an economic forum in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and the West African nation of Equatorial Guinea came to an agreement on May 11 that brings the two countries together on a variety of business projects. One of those is an agreement that will help finance what will be the region’s largest terminal for oil storage….

  • saudi arabia owns largest american oil refinery

    Saudi Arabia Now Fully Owns Largest American Oil Refinery

    Though the impact of Saudi Arabia within the American oil market has been diminished over time, their ability to maintain a very clear presence once again came into focus on May 1. That was when Saudi Aramco, the Kingdom’s state-run oil company, finalized an agreement to take complete control of the largest oil refinery in…