The separation of petroleum according to the parts with different boiling points was made by WINTER in 1788.
The first commercial use of oil was in Russia, and the first refinery processing complex was established near Baku in 1820 ın 1857, Romania and in 1859 the USA commercial oil-processing refineries were established.
The first drilling well dug to find oil in the world was drilled in 1859 by ALBAY EDWIN
DRAKE in Pennsylvania, USA. The first modern oil refineries were built in 1854-1856 near Jasło, Poland, by Ignacy Łukasiewicz. The first commercial oil well was commissioned in 1858 at Oil Springs, Ontario in Canada (later Western Canada).
Today, petroleum is found in vast underground reservoirs where ancient seas were located. Petroleum reservoirs can be found beneath land or the ocean floor. Their crude oil is extracted with giant drilling machines.
After 1910 the demand for automotive fuel began to outstrip the market requirements for kerosene, and refiners were pressed to develop new technologies to increase gasoline yields. The earliest process, called thermal cracking, consisted of heating heavier oils (for which there was a low market requirement) in pressurized reactors and thereby cracking, or splitting, their large molecules into the smaller ones that form the lighter, more valuable fractions such as gasoline, kerosene, and light industrial fuels. Gasoline manufactured by the cracking process performed better in automobile engines than gasoline derived from straight distillation of crude petroleum. The development of more powerful airplane engines in the late 1930s gave rise to a need to increase the combustion characteristics of gasoline and spurred the development of lead-based fuel additives to improve engine performance.
During the 1930s and World War II, sophisticated refining processes involving the use of catalysts led to further improvements in the quality of transportation fuels and further increased their supply. These improved processes—including catalytic cracking of heavy oils, alkylation, polymerization, and isomerization—enabled the petroleum industry to meet the demands of high-performance combat aircraft and, after the war, to supply increasing quantities of transportation fuels.
Middle East oil maintains the most important place in the regional economy. Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, U.A.E. and the economy in Bahrain is based on oil.