FIRST OIL DISCOVERY IN EUROPE
Although, archaeological findings revealed that the cave man used coal for heating, nevertheless, it was in the 1700’s (during the industrial revolution) when the English pioneered the use of this fuel (coal) to alternate for wood charcoal. Notable innovators such as James watt can certainly not be left out in this tale. He invented the coal fueled steam engine to operate machines, this really showered more usefulness to coal.
usefulness to coal. Irrespective of the fact that this fuel proved better usage as compared to wood, it’s refining, combustion products were yet very harmful to the environment. This ill effects it caused on the environment, led to research findings for a relatively, more environmentally friendly fossil fuel, thus leading to the discovery of Petroleum (crude oil)
In modern times, this discovery was made in 1847, when the Scottish Chemist, James Young noticed a Natural Petroleum seepage in the Ridding Colliers at Alfreton, Derbyshire. Originally, John perhaps started contemporary crude oil distillation process having distilled paraffin oil from this liquid black-gold.
THE GENESIS OF MULTINATIONAL OIL COMPANIES.
Consequently, the need for large scale processing of this natural resource became indeed, an axe to grind. Between the 18th-19th century, major oil companies sprang up . In 1865, John D.Rockefeller, who is referred to as the first oil baron, foremostly discovered the Standard Oil Company. Unfortunately, this company was dissolved in 1911, but Exxon Mobil which was one of its successors is today, the world’s ninth largest company by revenue.
Within this period, Petroleum as well as its related activities flourished majorly in the European and American soil. Some notable names to be mentioned within this reign include: The Rothschild family, Murex, Royal Dutch Shell and Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC).
THE MESSIAH MIGRATES TO THE ARAB WORLD
With the evolution of Multinational oil companies in Europe and the USA, competition heightened and there was every need to maximize profit and cut cost of production to the barest minimum. One major problem was cutting cost of production as oil Wells dug in these regions were very deep, more so, the oil produced required intense processing. In a bid to remedy this issue, the oil market moved influence from those oil consuming regions to oil producing countries.
This happened around the twentieth century and resulted to the formation of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 1960 by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. This was period of economic buoyancy in these Arabic countries as most of these companies moved patronage to these are as because their oil rocks were a shallower depths and their oil of better quality.
HOW IT ORIGINATED IN AFRICA
Additionally, in 1956 oil was discovered at Olobiri, in Nigeria, Africa. This discovery was made by shell-BP Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited. As at this time, the Nigerian economy was based on agriculture. However, this discovery diverted the attention on nationals to the oil and gas sector Owing to how lucrative it proved.
Although, the country enjoyed the dividends of this “wealth-bringing black angel”, yet it did not reflect on her national development as compared to her Asian counterparts. As at 1971, Nigeria had already joined OPEC, and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) was also commissioned to pioneer as a state owned company in playing major roles in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors amidst other capitalist oil companies.
In the status quo, Nigeria has so many oil and gas companies in operation. Some not able ones include: Chevron, Statoil, Shell, Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited, Petronas, Total, Hardy Oil and Gas plc, Nexen Inc, Addax Petroleum. Ultimately, she ranks as the highest oil producing nation in Africa.