Oily facts
The history of oil use
Fawley oil refinery and sea terminal

The first use of oil?
We know crude oil was being used at least three thousand years ago.

In places where oil seeped out of the ground, people burned it for heat and light. They also used it to waterproof ships.

The ancient Chinese used crude oil for lighting and for making medicines.

The modern oil industry dates back about 150 years.

The world’s first oil well was drilled in Titusville, Pennsylvania in 1859. It struck oil at 21 metres below ground and produced 3,000 litres of oil a day.

Early rig
One of the early land based oil rigs in 19th century Pennsylvania (USA).