Introductory-There are many interesting and important events connected withthe petroleum problem. The remarkable men who conceived 'the thought oftransporting petroleum by pipe line, conserving the by- products of thecommodity, and conducting extended investigation and research whereby the flashpoint of the oil was raised, its cost reduced and its supply assured, aredeserving of the gratitude of this nation.
It was primarily the success attained by Captain Lucas, after his comprehensivesearch for oil in Texas and Louisiana, that was the impelling cause whichprompted the Navy Department to conduct the extensive series of liquid fuel-oiltests that were made from 1901 to 1903. The sensational discovery of oil atSpindle top made a deep impression upon Rear Admiral George W. Melville, thenEngineer-in-Chief of the Navy, and the discovery of the vast oil field in Texasconvinced him that, within a generation, if not within a decade, crudepetroleum was going to play a very important part in warfare, and that thecommodity might possibly develop into a necessary munition of war.
The United States' Commanding Position as a Petroleum Producer. In the study ofthe various problems relating to the world's production of crude petroleum, theposition of the United States is one of commanding importance, whether viewedfrom the industrial or the military aspect.
The present yield of this country is practically double that of the rest of theworld, and, in view of the productive and prospective fields possessed byvarious countries, together with the comprehensive and exhaustive search thathas been made throughout the world for petroleum, it is extremely probable thatthis lead will be maintained for the next decade.
& regards the character of the crude-oil yield of different countries, America possesses the greater part of the supply that contains a paraffinebase, and therefore a considerable portion at least of the American productproduces the best illuminant. Of all the crude-oil distillates, kerosene is inmany respects the most important, and the Appalachian product for this purposeis favored, particularly in the Far East, above that of any other petroleumyield of the world.