Do You Know? Petroleum = Rock Oil
The word petroleum comes from the Greek word “petros” and the Latin word “oleum” meaning “rock” and “oil”. Before “petroleum” was coined by German mineralogist Georg Bauer in 1556, people simply called it “rock oil.”
Indeed, the Chinese, who had drilled the world’s first oil well in 347 AD (a 800 feet or 240 m deep pit using bits attached to bamboo poles), called it – and still calls it – shi you, which literally means rock oil.