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The History of Oil

Enjoy a walk back in time in this five part documentary of The History of Oil.

Man's search, preoccupation and obsession with oil began almost 4,000 years ago. The first oil pits and earliest known uses of oil were recorded in Persia and Babylon at the time of Herodotus. This was later confirmed by Diodorus Siculus. The Chinese built oil wells and drilled for oil in or about 347 AD.
First Modern Commercial Oil Well
In 1848, Russian engineer F. N. Semyenov drilled for oil on the Aspheron Peninsula northeast of Baku Asia. By 1861, this first oil well produced 90 percent of the world's oil at the time.
First Oil Well in Europe
In 1854, Igancy Lukasiewicz, Titus Trzecieski and Mikolja Klobassa joined forces to establish an oil mine in Bobrka, Poland.
First Oil Refinery
In 1857, the first oil refinery was opened in Ploiesti, Romania. Romania officially became the first country to refine crude oil.
First Oil Well in North America
In 1858, James Miller Williams dug for oil in Oil Springs, Ontario, Canada. Williams is also credited with the creation of The Canada Oil Company in 1860.
Origins of The United States Petroleum Industry
In 1857, Edwin Drake was granted a lease for the Hibbard Farm near Titusville, Pennsylvania, after a favorable report filed by Yale chemist Benjamin Silliman Jr stating that oil was located there. A year later in 1858, The Seneca Oil Company of New Haven, Connecticut, purchased the Drake lease of The Hibbard Farm near Titusville. The Seneca Oil Company sent Edwin Drake to drill the first oil well on the Hibbard Farm located near Titusville, PA in 1859. They hit the mother lode. Edwin Drake and The Seneca Oil Company are credited with the launching of the modern petroleum industry. This led to the oil booms in Texas, Oklahoma, and California.

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