Petroleum in our society

According to Collins dictionary, petroleum (from Latin ‘petrous’: rock, stone + ‘oleum’: oil) is a dark-coloured thick flammable crude oil occurring in sedimentary rocks, consisting mainly of hydrocarbons: the source of petrol and paraffin. Petroleum is not a recent discovery, it would has been discovered more than four thousand years ago. But it is only between 1859 and 1901 that the industry was born. Indeed, the American Edwin Drake is behind the birth of oil industry and this year, USA produced 274 tonnes of petroleum.

We can separate the history of petroleum in six eras. The first one is during the discovery of oil, it was a ‘black gold rush’ in different areas in the world: California, Poland, Azerbaijan etc. The wells are not very several and the production is low, as one barrel per day Between 1901 and 1945, the production has increased thanks to the progress of techniques of oil exploration. It was so huge that the only problem at this time was how to sell it off. During the two world wars, petroleum was at big stake.

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USA represented 60% of the global production. After the Second World War, because of the high growth known by the developed countries, the consumption has increased: multiplied by three in 20 years. In 1960, the biggest producers create the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) to coordinate the members’ interests. After 1973, there is one oil crisis after the other. In this context, some states decided to create programmes destined to decrease the consumption (for example in California).

And before 1986, the prices are continuing to raise. Because between 1986 and 2001, petroleum is in abundance, so the prices get down. Since 2002, the barrel of oil becomes more or less expensive. I have chosen this topic because it interests me very much, everything about the rise and fall of the price, the rumours of the out of stock, OPEC policy, energy policies with renewable energies, the place of petrol in the global economy, and the environmental pollution. I am going to explain the current context Aim and objectives of research

Petroleum is a topical subject but also a subject of the past and the future and an important resource. That is why it took an important place in the current society, but as we know, this resource won’t be indefinitely available. We can wonder why and how petroleum became so necessary. Indeed, oil is not only the petrol for cars, it is also a part of several common products which will change our society whether they disappear. The aim is to evaluate the current state of the petroleum reserves and the consequences of its reduction in the future.

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