The world as we have known it for the past century would have been very different without petroleum. Petroleum, particularly in the form of crude oil and its refined products, has been central to all aspects of modern industrial society and has been a major strategic geopolitical objective for nations. The 20th century was the age of oil, and at least part of the 21st century will be as well. Petroleum is used as an energy source and as a raw material for the production of an immense variety of chemicals and synthetic materials. Almost all the world's food relies on petroleum for fertilizer, pesticides, cultivation, or transport. Petroleum has been particularly dominant as a source of transportation fuels, an application for which cost-effective substitutes will be especially difficult to find. The A to Z of the Petroleum Industry presents a concise but complete one-volume reference on the history of the petroleum industry from pre-modern times to the present day. This is done through a chronology, an introductory essay, and over 400 cross-referenced dictionary entries on companies, people, places, events, technologies, and phenomena related to the history of the world's petroleum industry. Anyone interested in the history, status, and outlook for the petroleum industry will find this book a uniquely valuable source.
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