From the dawn of time up through the 1800s, economic development depended largely on the strength of man, animal and limited use of water, wind and steam. Economic conditions progressed from clans of primitive gatherers to reasonably advanced agriculture societies. In prehistoric industrialized age, the primary sources of energy were wood, coal and whale oil. The environmental impact of utilizing these energy sources was extreme and growing worse. Population growth placed great economic stress on traditional fuels, and rising prices encouraged the search for alternatives.
Petroleum is a fuel that is often called crude oil or oil. Petroleum is a fossil fuel. All of the fossil fuels are nonrenewable. This means once the supply is used up, they cannot be replaced. The word Petroleum is derived from two words Petra means ‘rock’ and oleum means ‘oil’.
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring liquid found in formations in the Earth consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various lengths. Petroleum or Crude Oil is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon-based liquid which is sometimes present in porous rocks beneath the earth's surface. Petroleum is formed by the slow alteration of organic remains over time. It consists of a mixture of liquid hydrocarbon compounds and varies widely in composition, color, density, and viscosity. This liquid after distillation yields a range of combustible fuels, lubricants and petrochemicals. Compounds and mixtures of compounds separated from crude petroleum by distillation include gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, fuel oil, some types of alcohol, benzene, heavy naphtha, different grades of lubricating oils and residuum.
Petroleum is usually classified according to the predominance of paraffin or asphalted compounds and accordingly is said to have a paraffin base, an intermediate base, or an asphalt base. The crude oil or its derivatives are marketed by volume or weight, gallon, litre, barrel, are the volumetric measurements while metric tonnes (mt or MT) are for the weight.
Petroleum is used in manufacturing a wide variety of materials and into a large number of consumer products such as petrol, kerosene, asphalt and chemical reagents used to make plastics and pharmaceuticals.
Here are some of the ways petroleum is used in our everyday lives. All plastic is made from petroleum and plastic is used almost everywhere, in cars, houses, toys, computers and clothing. Asphalt used in road construction is a petroleum product as is the synthetic rubber in the tires. Paraffin wax comes from petroleum, as do fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, detergents, phonograph records, photographic film, furniture, packaging materials, surfboards, paints and artificial fibers used in clothing, upholstery, and carpet backing. Helium, sulfur and other valuable materials are produced from oil wells along with petroleum itself. Petroleum is used principally as a source of fuel and lubricating oils. Only when these supplies are restricted or threatened does the average person begin to realize their importance.
People have used petroleum since ancient times. In 19th century, the term petroleum was frequently used to refer to mineral oils produced by sanitization from mined organic solids such as cannel coal and refined oils produced from them. The ancient Chinese and Egyptians burned oil to light their homes. Before the 1850s, Americans used whale oil to light their homes. When whale oil became scarce, people skimmed the oil that seeped to the surface of ponds and streams. In 1854, Canadian Abraham Gesner discovered an alternative to whale oil for use in lighting lamps by distilling kerosene from coal and oil.
The demand for oil grew, and in 1859, Edwin Drake drilled the first oil well near Titusville, Pennsylvania. Oil wells are drilled as deep as six miles into the Earth to search for petroleum. These wells can cost millions of dollars to drill, yet drilling is done because petroleum is a valuable natural resource.
The top three oil producing countries are Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the United States. About 80% of the world's readily accessible reserves are located in the Middle East, with 62.5% coming from the five Arab countries: Saudi Arabia (12.5%), U.A.E., Iraq, Qatar and Kuwait. Millions of people around the world are employed to find or produce petroleum, ship and refine it and manufacture and market the many oils and waxes made from it.
The history of oil & gas industry in India can be traced by back to 1867 when oil was struck at Makum near Margherita in Assam. Till independence in 1947, the oil & Gas industry was controlled by international companies. . India's domestic oil production was just 250,000 tonnes per annum and the entire production was from one state - Assam.
The foundation of the Oil & Gas Industry in India was laid by the Industrial Policy Resolution, 1954, when the government announced that petroleum would be the core sector industry and Government owned National Oil Companies ONGC (Oil & Natural Gas Commission), IOC (Indian Oil Corporation), and OIL (Oil India Ltd.). During 1960s, a number of oil and gas-bearing structures were discovered by ONGC in Gujarat and Assam. Discovery of oil in significant quantities in Bombay High in February, 1974 opened up new avenues of oil exploration in offshore areas. Exploratory efforts by ONGC and OIL India yielded discoveries of oil and gas in a number of structures in Bassein, Tapti, Krishna-Godavari-Cauvery basins, Cachar (Assam), Nagaland, and Tripura.
By the end of 1980s, the petroleum sector was in the doldrums. Oil production had begun to decline whereas there was a steady increase in consumption and domestic oil production was able to meet only about 35% of the domestic requirement. Presently S Jaipal Ready is the Indian petroleum minister.
Along with globalization, the rate of growth of the economy along with the rate of growth of energy consumption increased at the rate of six percent on a yearly basis. The demand for petroleum products increased at an annual rate of 5.5% during 1990-91 and 2000-01 which is more than that of the production rate of crude oil processing.
After the commencement of the Liberalization-Privation-Globalization (L-P-G) policy in the month of July, 1991, the government had started allowing the Indian Petroleum Industry to go into private as well as government-private joint ventures. The deregulation process in the Indian Petroleum Industry got a boost in the year 1997.
To meet its growing petroleum demand, India is investing heavily in oil fields abroad. India's state-owned oil firms already have stakes in oil and gas fields in Russia, Sudan, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Qatar, Ivory Coast, Australia, Vietnam and Myanmar. Oil and Gas Industry has a vital role to play in India's energy security and if India has to sustain its high economic growth rate.
Petroleum industry needs some special kind of technical skills. Aspirant students, who wish to make a bright career in petroleum sector, need opt for Math’s and English at school level which is essential condition. Most opportunities are for students with degrees in engineering and applied sciences. Openings for those who are qualified in the arts, languages, social sciences and business studies will usually be on the commercial side of the oil industry, in areas such as marketing, distribution and trading.
- Chemical Engineer
- Civil Engineer
- Design Engineer
- Drilling Engineer
- Engineering Geologist
- Mechanical Engineer
- Mining Engineer
- Electrical Engineer
- Process Engineer
- Petroleum Engineer
There are many prominent universities and colleges offers courses and master degrees in petroleum technology like University of petroleum & Energy studies Dehradun, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum technology U.P, Indian School of mines Dhanbad, Maharashtra Institute of Technology Pune, Missouri University of Science & Technology and many more.