About National Petroleum Day
Also known as Oil and Gas Industry Appreciation Day, this is a day to reflect on the importance of petroleum and how we handle replacing one of the most important energy sources.
Crude oil was first pumped from the ground in China’s Sichuan Province 2,500 years ago. However, National Petroleum Day marks this day in 1859, when W.A. "Uncle Billy" Smith discovered oil in a shaft being sunk by Colonel E.L. Drake at Titusville, in western Pennsylvania. Drilling had reached 69 feet 6 inches, when Smith saw a dark film floating on the water below the derrick floor. Soon 20 barrels of crude were being pumped each day. The first oil was refined to make kerosene for lighting, replacing whale oil. Later it was refined to make gasoline for cars. The first gas station opened in 1907.
From the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Oil and petroleum products explained:
“Crude oil and other liquids produced from fossil fuels are refined into petroleum products that people use for many different purposes. Biofuels are also used as petroleum products, mainly in mixtures with gasoline and diesel fuel.
“Petroleum has historically been the largest major energy source for total annual U.S. energy consumption. We use petroleum products to propel vehicles, to heat buildings, and to produce electricity. In the industrial sector, the petrochemical industry uses petroleum as a raw material (a feedstock) to make products such as plastics, polyurethane, solvents, and hundreds of other intermediate and end-user goods.