Heating oil, often referred to as “liquid gold,” has been a vital resource throughout history, shaping economies, fuelling industries, and playing a significant role in our daily lives. Beyond its practical uses, oil boasts a myriad of intriguing facts that highlight its importance and impact the world. Join us on a journey as we uncover the top 10 fascinating facts about the versatile and essential substance.


Oil was used by ancient societies

Oil usage dates back to ancient times, with evidence suggesting that the Babylonians were the first to use it for medicinal and lighting purposes around 4,000 years ago. They extracted oil from the ground by using bamboo pipelines.


World’s first oil well

The world’s first commercial oil well was drilled in 1859 by Edwin Drake in Titusville, Pennsylvania USA. This marked the beginning of the modern petroleum industry, transforming oil from a local commodity to a global resource.


Crude oil creates more than one type of oil

Crude oil, the unrefined form of petroleum, is a complex mixture of hydrocarbons. It contains various elements, including sulphur, nitrogen, oxygen, and traces of metals. The refining process separates these components to produce the diverse array of products we use daily.


Oil is used to create a multitude of products

 Oil is used to create a whole host of products, including plastic bottles, pens, fertilisers and clothes. When learning about oil, you realise that it is a substance that is in most products. Largely, the quantities of what oil is used to create are dictated by market demand. Therefore, it varies from year to year, or even month to month, as oil refineries create different types of oil to satisfy consumer wants.


 Oil tankers are one of the real giants of the industry

Oil tankers can be as hefty as 650,000 tons, which is the size of super tankers. Their most common length is about 330 metres long, with the biggest ever built measuring 458m.


Oil is a major source of energy 

Alongside coal and natural gas supply, oil makes up 88% of the world’s energy demands. However, a recent study claims that oil usage dropped by 8% in 2021 due to the pandemic. The transport sector was the worst industry affected, as it is responsible for 60% of total oil demand.


Oil is found in locations beyond your heating oil tank

Oil can be found in underground areas of porous rocks, with oil contained inside these rocks. It may look different to how you expect it to – it’s a smelly, yellow/black liquid!


Oil Consumption

The United States, China and India consistently rank as the top consumers of oil globally. Their large populations and industrial activities contribute to high levels of oil consumption.


Oil, with its rich history and multifaceted applications, continues to shape the world in profound ways. As we navigate a world driven by energy, understanding these intriguing oil facts provides a deeper appreciation for the complex role this resource plays in our global narrative.