It is believed that petroleum is the product of fossils of ancient living beings. Petroleum pumped out of the earth is a mixture of various materials and is called Crude Oil. This is purified in refineries to produce gasoline, petrol, diesel, kerosene etc. Petrol is not only an energy source but also an important raw material. A number of industries have flourished using this as a raw material. Petroleum is a very important energy resource in agriculture, industry and transportation.
This is a very precious in both during peace and war. Hence it is called ‘Liquid Gold’. In India, petroleum was first discovered at Digboi of Assam. Till independence, Digboi was the only region of petroleum products. Today, Lakhimpur, Hugrijin, Moran, Naharakathia and other oil wells of Assam are producing petroleum production. Gujarat is the another boil producing region. The first well was drilled at Ankaleshwar. In the year 1974, crude oil was identified about 110 kms away from Bombay in the off shore of Bombay High and the production was started in 1976. This is the biggest oil deposit of India.
Recently, oil deposits have been discovered in Kaveri, Krishna, Godavari and Mahanadi river basins. Today, there are about 19 refineries producing petroleum. The petroleum production is not sufficient in India, crude oil is being imported from Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Russia. Petroleum Industry started its operations in the year 1867 and is considered as the oldest Indian industry.