Learn more about Petroleum industry</div>
The oil industry is a type of industry which brings petroleum to a market. Petroleum is often considered the lifeblood of nearly all other industries, if not industrialized civilization itself and thus is a highly prominent and critical concern for many nations. Oil accounts for a large percentage of the world’s energy consumption, ranging from a low of 32% for Europe, Eurasia, and the Asia Pacific region, up to a high of 53% for the Middle East. Other geographic regions’ consumption patterns are as follows: South and Central America (44%), Africa (41%), and North America (40%). The world at large consumes 30 billion barrels (4.8 km³) of oil per year, and the top oil consumers largely consist of developed nations. In fact, 25% of the oil consumed in 2005 went to the United States alone.
Oil in general has been used since early human history to keep fires ablaze, and also for warfare. Its importance in the world economy evolved slowly. Wood and coal were used for heating and cooking, while whale oil was used for lighting. Whale oil however, burned to produce a black, smelly, thick residue known as tar or rock oil.
The Industrial Revolution generated an increasing need for energy which was fuelled mainly by coal. However, it was discovered that kerosene could be extracted from crude oil and used as a light and heating fuel. Petroleum was in great demand by the end of the 1800s, and its use spread.
The petroleum industry can be divided into two broad groups: upstream producers (exploration, development and production of crude oil or natural gas)and downstream transporters (tanker, Pipeline transport), refiners, retailers, and consumers. Oil companies are generally categorized as "supermajors" (BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and Shell), "majors," and "independents" or "jobbers." Most upstream work in the oil field or on an oil well is contracted out to drilling contractors and oil field service companies.
Petroleum is a non-renewable natural resource and the industry is faced with the spectre of the inevitable eventual depletion of the world's oil supply. By the very definition of non-renewable resources, oil exploration alone will not stave off future shortages of the resource. Resource economists argue that oil prices will rise as demand increases relative to supply, and that this will spur further exploration and development. However, this process will not increase the amount of oil in the ground, but will rather temporarily prolong production as higher prices make it economical to extract oil that was previously not economically recoverable. The Hubbert peak theory, also known as peak oil, is an influential theory concerning the long-term rate of conventional oil production and depletion. Oil is a Fossil fuel. When fossil fuels are burnt this releases Carbon dioxide, (CO2) into the Earth's atmosphere and adds to Global warming.
- Robert Sobel The Money Manias: The Eras of Great Speculation in America, 1770-1970 (1973) reprinted (2000).
- Daniel Yergin, The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power, (Simon and Schuster 1991; paperback, 1993), ISBN 0-671-79932-0.
- Matthew R. Simmons, Twilight in the Desert The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy, John Wiley & Sons, 2005, ISBN 0-471-73876-X.
- Matthew Yeomans, Oil: Anatomy of an Industry (New Press, 2004), ISBN 1-56584-885-3.
 External links
- Total's Planete-Energies website
- Energy Information Administration's Petroleum website
- PetroTalk.com Portal for petro related Articles, Discussion, Links and more
 See also
- Abiogenic petroleum origin
- List of oil fields
- List of oil-producing states
- List of petroleum companies
- Energy crisis: 1973 energy crisis, 1979 energy crisis
- Fossil fuel
- Future energy development
- Greenhouse gases
- History of the petroleum industry in Canada
- Oil imperialism
- Oil price increases of 2004
- Oil price increases of 2005
- Oil refinery
- Oil depot
- Oil supplies
- Oil well
- Olduvai theory (not strictly about oil, but it basically assumes that oil and gas are the only significant energy sources)
- Peak oil
- Petróleos de Venezuela S.A.
- Petroleum disasters
- Renewable energy
- Thermal depolymerization
- Oilpatch, the petroleum industry of Alberta, Canadafr:Industrie pétrolière