Description: Oil fuels the modern world. No other substance can equal the enormous impact which the use of oil has had on so many people, so rapidly, in so many ways, and in so many places around the world.
Oil in its various refined derivative forms, such as gasoline, kerosene, and diesel fuel, has a unique combination of many desirable and useful characteristics. These include a current availability in abundance, a currently high net energy recovery, a high energy density, ease of transportation and storage, relative safety, and great versatility in end use. Oil is also useful as more than an energy source. It is the basis for the manufacture of petrochemical products including plastics, medicines, paints, and myriad other useful materials. Finally, the asphalt "bottoms" from refineries have converted millions of miles of muddy trails around the world into paved highways on which transport vehicles fueled by oil run.