In this first lecture, a short introduction to the topic will be given. The lecture is started with a description of the course. The goal of the course is to obtain knowledge of the origins of petroleum and gas, of the accumulation conditions and the techniques to find and exploit hydrocarbons. The importance of this course is explained here as well.

Measurement units like barrels and cubic feet are explained. Moreover, some interesting detailed facts are given like oil reserves of commercial and national companies, annual world oil consumption and the total number of gas and oil wells drilled up to today. These numbers are accompanied by several graphs. Lastly, historical developments from the start up of petroleum geology around 1900 are summarized.

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