There is no mistaking that there is a lot going on in the motor oil world, just searching on Google proves that. Looking in April 2012 the stories on the web include Valvoline launching it’s next generation oil I Canada, a press release confirming that G-OIL a ‘green’ oil will reduce carbon footprints by 67% and Champion Oil announcing that it will be supporting Earth Day in 2012 and that is just a few of many stories.
Besides all this news there is the ever changing supply situation, world events continuing to move the oil price up and down all the time. As a consumer, it seems prices only ever go up fast (and come down slowly), but I’m sure that there are good reasons for this (at least I hope there are). Recently we have seen effects of the Arab Spring, together with the tensions caused by Iran’s nuclear policy. Before that there have, over the years, been other conflicts or stances by the oil producing nations which have caused the prices to fluctuate dramatically.
Of course these changes in the crude oil price have other effects, notably how keen the oil companies are to try to find new oil fields. When the price is high, oil companies can better afford to sink the vast amount of money needed to find and prove a new oil field, whilst when the price drops they find it harder to invest.
Advances in oil finding techniques have been made over the years of course, as well as in oil extraction methods, but on the other hand the new fields tend to hold oil that is harder to extract, whether it be in deep water or in difficult terrain. Either way the costs are higher, as are the risks.
One thing for certain is that the world needs oil, it is used for far more than just powering our cars, trucks and power stations. The list of other purposes it is used for is a long one, but just a few are:-
- Home heating
- Asphalt (for our roads)
- Jet fuel
Indeed, without oil we would simply not have the same world as we do today, it would be a lot lot different. But is not just modern life that would have been affected. It seems that oil has been important for some 6,000 years, the ancient Sumerians, Assyrians and Babylonians used pitch collected from seeps in the ground. The Egyptians used oil as a medicine, and throughout the ages oil has been used for lighting.
In America, natives used blankets to skim oil off the surface of streams and lakes using it in medicines as well as to waterproof their canoes. It was even used by Washington’s troops in the War of Independence to treat frostbite.
So, the uses of oil are many and without it our modern world would be very different. However, for the man (or woman) in the street, the main things that …Continue reading