Much like coal, we need to reach back in the geological history of the planet to describe petroleum’s origins. Oil’s primary producers consisted of microscopic marine organisms of plant and animal matter. They lived for only a few days in Earth’s warm waters. Its ancient, shallow oceans were wonderfully suited for microscopic organisms. The process of living and dying repeated itself many millions of times over these many millions of years. A small fraction of these organisms became the source of energy from petroleum. With petroleum seeping from the ground in many of the world’s locations, its capture and refinement led to intense competition among the corporations supported by their governments. Petroleum became a geopolitical resource that made nations codependent on oil-rich nations.