This episode takes a look at the petroleum industry and the many products derived from oil used in the United States.
Imagine it: Rubber, plastic, nylon, aerosols, resins, solvents, & lubricants; none can exist without oil, still hailed as Black Gold. Even if we stopped driving our cars tomorrow, America would still need 5 million barrels of oil a day – more than all of Southern Europe combined. From the shirt on your back to the waxy sheen of a beautiful apple, the first secret of oil is that it’s everywhere you look. Oil is used to lubricate machines, weapons, and even skin. It provides the chemical building blocks for plastics, rubber, synthetic fibers and pharmaceuticals.
Uncertain supplies and rising demand have made cheap oil a thing of the past, leading scientists to develop alternatives for nearly all of oil’s factions. We’ll go behind-the-scenes at a Southern California Oil Refinery where the true value of oil is first unlocked.
Produced by Actuality Productions, Inc. for History/A&E Television Networks