The History of Petroleum


Man and petroleum have a long history together. We have records from the fifth century BC of man’s association with the sticky black fluid, when Herodotus described the Ardericcan oil pits (located near the ruins of Babylon). He also talks about a pitch spring that he saw at Zacynthus (one of the Ionian Islands).

Petroleum’s flammable properties saw its employment as a weapon of war. The Achaemenid Empire that ruled Persia in the the 6th century BC reportedly used petroleum in fire weapons when invading cities and castles. Burning pitch, which is nothing but petroleum may have been dropped from city and castle walls on invading armies, scalding them!

The ancients did not realize petroleum’s true possibilities

In ancient Europe, people did not know how to distill petroleum but they still managed to use it as a weapon, as an illuminating agent, to coat boat hulls and walls, as mortar and even as a medicinal agent. As early as the 15th century, Tegernsee oil from Bavaria was reportedly used as medicinal agent, so much so that it came to be known as St Quirinus’s Oil.

Nobody knew the true value of this black gold until fractional distillation was invented and a myriad of products were extracted from petroleum. Now over 6000 items use petroleum derivatives as base stock and oil and gas have become indispensable elements of our daily life.

Today, companies like Exxon (US), BP (UK), Lukoil (Russia), Petrosaudi and Saudi Aramco (Saudi Arabia) explore and produce millions of barrels a day to meet the growing demands of the world!

To do so offshore, they use big and powerful ships like the Petrosaudi Discoverer or the Petrosaudi Saturn.

Your saudipetrofacts team.

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