Ages 7 to 14 years. The Babylonians and Sumerians were using thick, gooey oil as early as 5000 BC as pitch to caulk their boats and hold their building bricks in place. Oil is actually a fuel, like coal, but its use today is more widespread through its products such as gasoline and kerosene. This book takes a fascinating look at this disappearing fossil fuel describing how it is made, where it is located in the world, and the environmental and ecomic problems its use has created. Topics include; What is oil?; millions of years in the making; oil throughout history including the oil boom of the late 1800s, its use as a means of light, and as fuel when wood supplies were used up; exploration and the geology of oil; the different methods for extracting oil; maps show where the world's oil deposits are located; how oil is refined into gasoline; the uses of oil for heating, electricity, powering automobiles; transporting oil by pipeline and tanker; the problem of air pollution, oil spills, and global warming; renewable energy alternatives to oil.