National Petroleum Day is dedicated to a unique, non-renewable natural resource that is a key part of people’s lives in the 21st century. Of course, today we care about the environment, and many people reject oil as contributing to air and water pollution on the planet. However, we need to remember that oil is also involved in the production of many everyday items such as plastic, detergents, paints, fertilizers, film, cosmetics, and drugs. National Petroleum Day is a day of awareness and encourages us to think about the wise use of oil and ways to save this most valuable resource.
Oil in the United States was discovered by Edwin L. Drake on August 27, 1858. The field was located at a depth of 70 feet near the city of Titusville in Pennsylvania. Oil has made this region rich and prosperous and we celebrate National Petroleum Day on August 27 to commemorate the birthday of the US oil industry. In the mid-19th century, Scottish chemist James Young learned how to distill petroleum to produce kerosene and engine oil. Today in the world, 90% of cars need oil-based fuel – this is gasoline. Most oil is produced in Saudi Arabia, the United States, and Russia, but large deposits have also been found in other countries, such as Venezuela and Canada.
In 424 BC during the Peloponnesian War, in the battle of the city of Delium, the ancient Greeks from Boeotia used a flamethrower with an incendiary mixture against the Athenians. It consisted of crude oil, oil and sulfur. However, oil was used prior to this – in particular, in ancient Babylon it was used in construction, and sea vessels were also sealed (caulked) with it.
How to take part
Celebrate National Petroleum Day in the following ways:
- Throw an “oil party”: have each participant bring an oil-related product with them. This will remind you of the value of this energy resource.
- Set up an experiment: try to live a single day without the use of petroleum products. Share the experiment on social media using the hashtag #NationalPetroleumDay.
- Organize a discussion about the importance of oil in our lives and ways to use it wisely.
When is National Petroleum Day celebrated in 2023?
National Petroleum Day is observed on August 27 each year.