Although oil is one of the basic materials for the modern industry, it isn't a new resource element in the history of humanity. Our ancestors knew about it thousands years ago, because it was quite easy to find crude from the ground. Oil has a lighter density than water, and one may find it actually on the surface of sand-, shale clay-, or different carbon sediment floors.
In the ancient Mesopotamia, people extracted this material from oil pits near Babylon and used it as “bitumen” (or asphalt) for construction purposes. This was a really good caulking substance, mixed with sand or reeds. Records on Persian tablets indicate that oil was also a medicine in ancient times. The Romans used oil for squaring their arrows and wheels. But it had been also employed as a weapon. According to the experts, the soldier of Byzantine Empire, during the Early Middle Ages, used oil for their flame-throwers. They called it “Greek fire”.
During the second half of the 19th century, the Tsarist Russian Empire had a very extensive oil exploration program which concluded in one of the leading production rigs in use, near Baku in Azerbabaijan.
The first modern use of crude started in 1855, when scientists experimented by mixing carbon with crude oil. Thus they have created the kerosene. Although they were initially looking after an alternative replacement for whale oil in their lamps, they incidentally invented the most important combustion material of modern industry.
It happened during the 1920's, when crude oil started to rule our everyday life. As one of the most important energy producing stuff, but also as the natural base for gasoline, plastics, rubber, artificial fertilizer, enamel and paints.
Oil is clearly a historical energy and development resource for the human society and is found in sufficient amounts. Extracting and producing more petroleum won't deplete our reserves any time soon. There's more oil out there that our industries can use.