Goal of the website

Upon scanning the web, it became clear to me that most websites with an educational focus on the origin, extraction, and uses of oil assumed a basic background in geology. My approach has been to provide a content-rich site that attempts to cover most of the major aspects of the geology of oil, while giving the user some geologic fundamentals along the way. I have also attempted to base the site around visitors' personal experiences, particularly in the “Geology in Your Backyard” section. The site has been written with the 13-15 year age group in mind, although it has value to other individuals with an interest in learning about oil.

This site was designed, organized, and written by Peter Nester for the specific use of the Paleontological Research Institution. Any attempt to reproduce portions of this site for private use is prohibited without the permission of the author or of PRI.


I would like to thank the following individuals and organizations:

For help with illustrations:

For the use of photographs of the early days of oil:

For valuable proofreading and other content-related advice:

For help with content:


This Website was made possible by grants, the first in 1998, from the Chevron Corporation, ExxonMobil Foundation, and AAPG (American Association of Petroleum Geologists) Foundation. The website went live in 2001.


The Paleontological Research Institution 1259 Trumansburg Road •Ithaca, NY 14850 • phone: 607-273-6623 • fax: 607-273-6620
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