As Britain fought for its survival during World War II, a team of American oil drillers found themselves on their way across the Atlantic to help the war effort. They became known as the 'roughnecks of Sherwood Forest'.
50 years on from the first oil and gas discoveries in the North Sea we celebrate this golden anniversary by looking back at this important center of oil and gas production, set in silver but often turbulent seas.
In this second part of the Standard Oil story, we profile John D. Rockefeller, the man who founded the world’s first large oil company, which was forced by the US anti-trust law to dissolve into several independent companies exactly one hundred years ago.
At a time when oil prices spiralled down from over $100 to below $50 within half a year, talking about ‘oil shock’ may seem odd. Yet, the oil shock of 1973–74 was not only the first of its kind on a global scale, but also set the political-economic stage for oil shocks and oil market crashes in the following decades.
Formed just as the first discoveries were being made in the North Sea, the Petroleum Society of Great Britain’s mission is to promote, for the public benefit, education in the scientific and technical aspects of petroleum exploration.
2014 marks the centenary of the beginning of World War One. The Great War, as it was generally referred to in Europe, heralded a major shift in political power across the Western World, Asia and Africa. It also witnessed the emergence of the modern oil and gas industry.
In 2003, the fall of Saddam Hussein opened up semi-autonomous Kurdistan to foreign investment. It also revived the interest of oil companies in the region, which had been explored, but not developed, by the Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC) between 1946 and 1961.
A consortium of four oil majors (today’s BP, Shell, Total and ExxonMobil) and oil magnate Calouste Gulbenkian, the Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC) was designed to explore and extract oil in the Middle East. Amid controversy about its role as the ‘Red Line Cartel’, its pioneering contribution to the oil development of the region is often overlooked.
The recent shale gas boom is a reminder that the effective use of hydraulic fracturing in shale formations is a relatively new phenomenon. However, this ‘fracking’ (also called 'fracing’ or ‘fraccing’ in the technical literature) has been around for longer than many people realise, and the use of unconventional techniques to extract oil and gas from the ground has developed over more than 150 years.