The year 2013 marked the 100th anniversary of the construction of the first roadside gas station. We have been immersed in the “Gasoline Age” for so long that no one alive remembers what it was like without it, and it is now so ubiquitous that we take it for granted in our day to day lives.
It turns out that oil has a fascinating historical and material timeline from ancient China to the the modern United States.
The Three Streams
The oil industry into three major sections: upstream, midstream and downstream.
Partially due to a robust upstream oil industry, the U.S. produces 8.7 million barrels of oil per day as of 2014. This makes us the third largest producer of oil behind Russia and Saudi Arabia and and we are heading toward a 20 year high in oil production. While these numbers sound astronomical, the production of oil in the U.S. has dropped significantly since the 1970s due to increased reliance on other oil produces and large successes in alternative energy. It remains to be seen how oil will adapt to the future.