Oil


Oil
   The vernacular for petroleum, a naturally occurring liquid composed of hydrocarbons, the industrial use of which increased dramatically during the nineteenth century. Much of the exploration and industrial development of uses for oil was done by American oil companies. Oil usage was low at the beginning of the period. Small quantities were gathered from natural oil seeps to be used as pitch to seal boats, as axle grease or for medicinal purpose. In the 1840s, Canadian Abraham Gesner invented kerosene, and the first modern oil well was sunk in 1848 by the Russian engineer F. N. Semyonov near Baku on the Caspian Sea. It soon replaced whale oil as the fuel for lighting in homes and offices. By 1900, gasoline for internal combustion engines and heavy oil to power ships - especial naval vessels, since the age of sail depended on massive quantities of coal for fuel - had caused the demand for oil to increase dramatically. Together with the importance of oil to industrial development generally, the invention of the Parson’s turbine engine increased the range of ships, for commerce and naval warfare, and made oil a strategic commodity. The growing demand for oil was supplied by the cable-tool method of oil well drilling. In 1859, Captain Edwin L. Drake drilled the first oil well in western Pennsylvania.
   The rotary drill method was used in 1901 at Spindletop, Texas, to bring in the first gusher. Discoveries were made in California, Canada, the Dutch East Indies, Iran, Mexico, Peru, Romania, and Venezuela and elsewhere by increasingly powerful oil companies, the greatest of which was John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Trust. The Anglo-Persain Oil Company, founded in 1909, was the first company to exploit the oil potential of the Middle East.
   See also <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Giddens, Paul Henry. The Early Petroleum Industry. Philadelphia: Porcupine Press, 1974.
   ANDREW J. WASKEY

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Oil — (oil), n. [OE. oile, OF. oile, F. huile, fr. L. oleum; akin to Gr. ?. Cf. {Olive}.] Any one of a great variety of unctuous combustible substances, more viscous than and not miscible with water; as, olive oil, whale oil, rock oil, etc. They are of …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Oil! —   1st edition …   Wikipedia

  • oïl — [ ɔjl ] adv. d affirmation • 1080 « oui »; a. fr. o « cela »; du lat. hoc et il ♦ Langue d oïl : ensemble des dialectes (picard, bourguignon, anglo normand, francien …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • oil — [oil] n. [ME oile < OFr < L oleum, oil, olive oil < Gr elaion, (olive) oil, akin to elaia,OLIVE] 1. any of various kinds of greasy, combustible substances obtained from animal, vegetable, and mineral sources: oils are liquid at ordinary… …   English World dictionary

  • oil — oil; oil·dom; oil·er; oil·field·er; oil·i·ly; oil·i·ness; oil·less; oil·let; oil·man; oil·om·e·ter; oil·skinned; oil·less·ness; oil·tight·ness; …   English syllables

  • oil — Ⅰ. oil UK US /ɔɪl/ noun [U] ► NATURAL RESOURCES a thick liquid that comes from under the Earth s surface and is used as a fuel and for making plastics, etc.: »More than 6,000 rigs were drilling for oil and gas. »The oil price increase is a… …   Financial and business terms

  • OIL — steht für: Oïl Sprachen, eine Gruppe galloromanischer Sprachen, siehe Langues d’oïl OIL steht für Ontology Inference Layer, eine semantische Auszeichnungssprache Office Infrastructures et logistique Luxembourg, Amt für Gebäude, Anlagen und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • oil — vb Oil, grease, lubricate, anoint, cream all mean to smear or treat with an oily, fatty, or greasy substance, but they vary greatly in their implications of the substance used and the purpose for which it is employed and in their idiomatic… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Oil — steht für: Oïl Sprachen, eine Gruppe galloromanischer Sprachen, siehe Langues d’oïl OIL steht für Ontology Inference Layer, eine semantische Auszeichnungssprache Office Infrastructures et logistique Luxembourg, Amt für Gebäude, Anlagen und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • oil|y — «OY lee», adjective, oil|i|er, oil|i|est. 1. of oil: »an oily smell. 2. containing oil: »an oily salad dressing …   Useful english dictionary

  • Oil — Oil, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Oiled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Oiling}.] To smear or rub over with oil; to lubricate with oil; to anoint with oil. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


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