The History of Oil Discovery in Kuwait, How Does Oil Form and Where to Find Crude Oil
The Kuwait desert had long stood witness to several strange black patches of a rough bituminous substance; but it was not until the matter was investigated in 1935 did it become apparent that the wealth of Kuwait had remained underground for years, and was yet to be discovered. In 1921, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah became the Ruler of Kuwait. A brave and resourceful leader, a man of vision as well as a valiant warrior, Sheikh Ahmad was to steer his people through difficult times. As the 1920s was drawing to a close, the cultured pearl industry became a serious, and ultimately overwhelming competitor to Kuwait's main industry, pearl diving. In spite of this, and a subsequent worldwide decline in trade as the thirties began, he kept his faith in the future. 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.
Oil can damage animals’ internal organs and be even more toxic to animals higher up in the food chain, a process called bioaccumulation.
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.