It was in 1859 when the first U.S. oil well was drilled in Pennsylvania. Unlike other sources of energy, this fossil fuel derived from rock produced what is now known to the world as “petroleum” – from the Latin words, petra (rock) and odeum, meaning oil.
In 2015, the U.S. relied on 36 percent of its energy form petroleum. In fact, this “black gold” is a primary source of energy not only in the U.S. but also around the world. It is a major resource and many companies (and even entire countries) rely on it for their economic activities. As a result, it is one of the world’s most traded commodities and a major component (usually in the form of stocks) of many investment portfolios.
In contrary to what most people believe, this type of oil is not only useful for fueling powerful transport vehicles and industrial machines, but it is also essential in numerous day to day applications. That is why volumes of petroleum being traded on a daily basis are often huge. Below are some of the several uses of petroleum you probably didn’t know:
Industrial and domestic heating/lighting
Central heating plants for homes, offices, and shops utilize heavier types of oils. In addition, the electricity produced from oil can be used for industrial purposes. The bulk of the world’s electricity supply is powered by thermal power plants, which mainly use hydrocarbons. Lighter oil grades like ‘kerosene’ is most suitable for domestic use.
Petroleum in the form of lubricants are useful for any type of transport and industrial machines. All greases and other lubricating agents are in fact produced from petroleum and help a wide range of complex machineries used in big factories and even small offices.
Several oil refining process often produce other useful petroleum by-products that are used in a variety of applications for a wide range of users and consumers. For instance, the combination of petro-chemical products can give us plastic, grease, Vaseline, wax, detergents, aviation gasoline, asphalt, and many more.
It’s a fact that the world’s entire transport system depends primarily on petroleum. Road, water, air, and rail transport has been modernized by the discovery of fossil fuels like petroleum. Diesel and petrol are the number one sources of energy for any type of modern transport machines and vehicles.