Crude oil comes from decomposed organic remains and must be pumped to the surface from deep recesses of the Earth's crust. These pockets of "black gold" are located beneath the sea and in different countries all over the world .
The United States has the largest oil pipeline system in the world, with nearly 200,000 miles of pipeline.
Modern Day Uses
Oil is converted to gasoline and primarily used to fuel vehicles. Other petroleum products include medicine, perfume, carpets, paint, detergents and food preservatives.
Over five thousand years ago, ancient Babylonians and Sumerians used oil as a lubricant, adhesive and even as a weapon.
Largest Oil Field
OPEC estimates that Saudi Arabia's Ghawar oil field contains about 85 billion barrels of oil.
Largest Oil Spill
Although the Exxon Valdez oil spill garnered a great deal of media coverage, it was not the largest oil spill in history. In 1991, eight storage facilities at the Sea Island installation in Kuwait spilled 240 million gallons of crude oil.
Largest Crude Oil Reserves
Saudi Arabia boasts the largest crude oil reserves in the world, with over 261, 444 millions of barrels. Iraq is a close second, with 112,000 millions of barrels in its crude oil reserves.