Oil: A Slow Twilight

Oil makes up around one third of global energy demand, mainly because it is so widely used in transport. Almost all the 1.5 billion cars on the roads are driven by Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) and fuelled by gasoline or diesel. Meanwhile, almost all commercial and military airplanes use kerosene for fuel, most lorries and heavy duty trucks use diesel or gas, and the bulk of the world’s shipping fleet uses either diesel or a heavier grade of oil known as fuel oil. While Electric Vehicles are starting to flood the market in wealthy developed countries, cost remains a problem and EV growth has been unspectacular in the poorer countries of South and South East Asia, Latin America and Africa. In the US and Middle East, cheap oil, image and brand issues, as well as range anxiety mean that most people still prefer gasoline-fuelled cars for the time being.

Crude Oil and Refined Products

Oil has powered the modern age, but at a cost. Oil powers cars, planes, ships and trucks, and most manufactured goods from packaging to paper contain petrochemicals derived from oil.