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Monday, 6 February 2017



Ancient Persian tablets indicate the medicinal and lighting uses of petroleum in the upper levels of their society.

Petroleum was discovered in Titusville, Pennsylvania in 1859 leading to the world's first commercially successful oil well. The demand for petroleum as a fuel for lighting in North America and around the world quickly grew.

Pumpjack pumping an oil well near Lubbock, Texas
The first petroleum pump was invented by Sylvanus Bowser in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1885. It was used to fill kerosene lamps and stoves.

The American industrialist and philanthropist John D Rockefeller (1839-1937) dominated the petroleum industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, at one point controlling 90 per cent of all oil in the U.S. As a private individual, his fortune accounted for more than 1 per cent of the entire American economy.

In the early days, automobile drivers pulled into almost any general, pharmacy or hardware store, or even blacksmith shops in order to fill up their tanks.

The world's first purpose built gas station was constructed in St. Louis, Missouri in 1905 at 420 S. Theresa Automobile Gasoline Co., a subsidiary of Shell of California. The shopkeeper filled a five-gallon can from behind the store and brought it to the customer's car to fill it.

A Shell gas station near Lost Hills, California (U.S.) Wikipedia

Reighard's gas station in Altoona, Pennsylvania, opened in 1909. It is the oldest U.S. gas station still in operation,

The first American drive-in automobile service gas station was opened by Gulf Refining in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on December 1, 1913. The first station specifically designed to sell fuels and other related products, it sold 30 gallons, at 27 cents each on its first day.  It was also the first architect-designed station and the first to distribute free road maps.

In 1919 gasoline surpassed the sales of kerosene and became the top petroleum product sold in the United States.

Oregon placed a 1 cent per U.S. gallon tax on gasoline in 1919, becoming the first U.S. state to levy a gasoline tax.

The 1957 Monte Carlo Rally was cancelled because of a worldwide petrol shortage following the Suez crisis.


The word petroleum is from Greek: petra: "rock" and oleum: "oil".

Even though crude oil can last millions of years underground, gasoline can spoil—it's chemically very different than the original crude oil.

Petroleum. Wikipedia Commons

A fossil fuel, petroleum is formed when large quantities of dead organisms, usually zooplankton and algae, are buried underneath sedimentary rock and subjected to both intense heat and pressure.

Petroleum is the most traded physical commodity in the world.

Petroleum supplies 38% of the world's energy and is also used to make petrochemicals.

Proven world oil reserves, 2013. Wikipedia Commons

It is used in manufacturing a wide variety of materials, and it is estimated that the world consumes about 95 million barrels of petroleum each day.

Gasoline was once sold as a cure for lice.

The average U.S. commuter wastes $713 annually on gasoline while sitting in traffic.

If you follow an 18-wheeler closely while driving and utilize its slipstream, you can decrease your fuel consumption by 11%.

In New Jersey and Oregon you cannot pump your own gas because it must be done by a gas station attendant

A 106-mile portion of I-70 in Utah has no gasoline or exits. It is the longest portion of the US Interstate system without services. A station at one end sells about 30 gas containers a week to people who run out on the highway and walk to the station.

Source Nacsonline

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