Q:

Where was oil first discovered?

A:

Quick Answer

Oil was likely first discovered in the Middle East, in what is now Iran. The Achaemenid Empire army used oil in fire weapons as they invaded castles and cities in the sixth century B.C.

  Know More

Full Answer

Oil and petroleum products have been in use for centuries, beginning in the Middle East. The Greek historian Herodotus described the presence of oil pits in Babylon, present day Iraq, in 450 B.C. Alexander the Great often used oil-fueled torches to frighten his enemies. Another Greek historian, Plutarch, described oil bubbling up from the ground in Kirkuk.

Oil was not only found in the Middle East, but in China as well. In 347 A.D., the Chinese were using bamboo to drill oil from the ground. Explorer Marco Polo described the Baku people, in present day Azerbaijan, using oil from seeps for lighting and medicine.

Oil has a long history in America; early explorers to the area observed oil slicks off the coast of California. The first oil well that produced oil on a commercial level in the United States was the Beatty Well, located in southeastern Kentucky. Before that, a well was drilled in Ohio for salt water, but the well was found to contain oil instead.

Learn more about Natural Resources

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where can I find out current oil prices?

    A:

    The U.S. Energy Information Administration provides current spot prices for oil on its website, as of 2015. The prices are provided in weekly releases that show the daily values from the previous week, according to EIA. Other media outlets, such as Bloomberg and CNN Money, also report daily values.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How does oil affect the environment?

    A:

    The oil industry affects the environment in a variety of ways including drilling, transporting and the potential for spills. Chemical byproducts created during drilling contain many known toxins, and the metal pipes used to transport oil can corrode, leading to leaks and broken pipelines polluting the ground and water.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is waste oil collection?

    A:

    Waste oil collection refers to gathering together of used oil for the purpose of recycling. Failure to correctly dispose of used oil results in environmental degradation. An estimated 200 million gallons of used oil is improperly disposed of, notes the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the pros and cons of oil energy?

    A:

    Oil is an abundant and relatively inexpensive fuel used to power automobiles, airplanes and other forms of transportation, but it poses significant environmental threats as well. Oil is one of the most abundant sources of energy on earth: it is found across the world, including at on and offshore locations in the United States. It is cheap and easy to manage and transport but is also classified as a finite or nonrenewable energy source and may harm species and habitats in the event of oil spills.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore