The Global Oil Industry

The global oil industry is a very complex industry. It is one of the oldest in the world as well as one that affects tremendously all aspects of business. Oil is a precious energy source that fulfills 40% of the global energy needs. The products of oil companies revolutionized daily life and the way we do things.
Upstream and downstream are two major sectors in the oil industry. In between, there is another sector namely the midstream. The midstream sector processes, stores, markets and transports commodities such as crude oil, natural gas liquids as ethane, propane and butane.   . The upstream sector involves the processes of oil exploration and drilling. Over the years, because of technological advancement, oil producers have been able to access more deposits which resulted in an increase in reserves. The downstream sector involves refining, transporting and marketing of oil and oil products. At the production unit, it is processed and refined into different products that include gasoline, kerosene, residual fuel oil and asphalts.
Summary of the Case
The case presented an overview of the history of the Oil industry from its early beginnings to the late 1990’s.
Oil was found initially in Pennsylvania in 1859 and it initiated the first oil boom, replacing whale oil as the main source of fuel. The first oil company was Standard Oil in Ohio in 1865. When it was broken up in 1911 by the Supreme Court, 10 separate oil companies were formed. In the early 1900s, Gulf came on stream, then Texaco, followed by Royal Dutch/Shell Group and later British Petroleum.
The early demand for oil spurred from World War I as it was vital to the war effort for military power. During the period between that first War and the Second World War, oil fields were discovered in Venezuela, Iraq, Saudia Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain. There were technological advancements in exploration, production and refining.
From inception, there was political conflict between oil producing countries and...