The History of Oil Discovery in Kuwait, How Does Oil Form and Where to Find Crude Oil
This was largely because of several strange black patches of a rough bituminous substance that had long been observed in different parts of the desert. The Ruler and his people were well aware of the activities of the oil prospectors in neighbouring Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Iraq - to say nothing of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company's successes in southern Iran. Their expectations raised by the Bahrain oil discoveries of 1932, the people of Kuwait were hopeful that these surface deposits were indications of underground reservoirs of a commodity, which could stimulate and revitalize their country’s economy.
Fish and marine mammals, too, are threatened by oil spills. The dark shadows cast by oil spills can look like food. Oil can damage animals’ internal organs and be even more toxic to animals higher up in the food chain, a process called bioaccumulation.
Over the years, starting with the sharp price increases of the 1970s, it has lost some ground to other fuels. The continued strength of oil in global energy stems from its dominance of the transportation sector, where it now accounts for about 96 percent of the market. It also accounts for 27 percent in the industrial sector and 9 percent in power generation—having lost ground to coal, gas, and nuclear power in these sectors (see International Energy Agency, 2001, 2002, for more details). The rate of substitution away from oil is directly related to how technically feasible such changes are and to the availability of cost-effective substitutes, which explains why oil has continued to dominate the transportation sector, where efforts to introduce alternatives have so far had limited success. In contrast to oil, the share of natural gas in total primary energy has been on the increase; it rose from 18 percent to about 23 percent between 1973 and 2001, spurred by a combination of higher oil prices, the need for energy self-sufficiency in the major consuming countries, and diversification, as well as recent environmental concerns relating to global warming and climate change. Natural gas is the least carbon-intensive of the fossil fuels, followed by oil and then coal (see, among others, Mitchell, 2000, for a brief discussion of the environmental dimension of fuel use in the context of ongoing negotiations on climate change). The use of natural gas has also increased as a result of secular growth in the petrochemical industry, where it is the main feedstock for a wide variety of petrochemical products (Pindyck, Robert S., 1978).
Today the balance is all but reversed, with NOCs now controlling 73% of a much larger pie of world oil and gas production.
Mitchell, John V., 2000, “Energy and the Environment,” paper prepared for conference on the Seventh International Energy Forum, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, November 17–19.
Okogu, Bright E., 2002, “Issues in Global Natural Gas: A Primer and Analysis,” IMF Working Paper 02/40 (Washington: International Monetary Fund).
———, 2003, “Middle East to Dominate World Oil for Many Years,” Finance & Development (March).
Pindyck, Robert S., 1978, “Gains to Producers from Cartelization of Exhaustible Resources,” Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 6 (May), pp. 238–51.