World

What difference does oil make to your life?

Oil dominates every aspect of our lives. It fuels our cars, it is used in the production of our plastic goods, the electricity for our homes and factories and can even be found in the fertiliser used in crop growing.

Our world is dominated by the need to control oil. It is often the cause of wars. It can make nations extremely wealthy, while shortages can bring economies to their knees.

As oil prices fall around the world, we asked what difference oil makes to you.

You have been contacting journalists at the BBC using Facebook and Twitter, and uploading your pictures to the BBC website as well as emailing your experiences.

Image copyright Aziza Salako
Image caption Aziza Salako from Chicago, US, tells us: "This is a photo of the washing-up water one night when it was my turn for kitchen duty. My mother had just cooked a very grand meal, including fried rice and meat. The drop in oil prices has definitely helped the family budget, which means grand meals are happening more frequently."

People on Twitter sent @ replies to the @BBC_HaveYourSay account on Tuesday to say how the price of oil has affected them.


Maksut Kosker took the following picture, he said: "I took this picture in Arbil, just one week after ISIS captured Mosul. We faced a huge oil shortage so there were hundreds of vehicles waiting for oil in rest the of Kurdistan."

Image copyright Maksut Kosker

People posted comments to the BBC World News Facebook page on Tuesday to share their views about the drop in oil prices.


Jay Turtle from Oklahoma City, US sent us this picture:

Image copyright Jay Turtle
Image caption He said: "The lower gas prices have enabled us to save money all around but we are preparing for a more competitive job market as more and more oil-related companies continue layoffs due to lower prices."

People have been contacting us on Twitter throughout the week, explaining how the drop in oil prices has affected them.


The UK offshore oil and gas industry has reported its worst annual performance for four decades. BBC News website readers are emailing their experiences:

Charlie, UK: I'm in a slightly luckier predicament in that I have a staff position with one of the oil companies working in the North Sea. So might have a better chance of keeping my current 2/3 rota, but I certainly do not want to see any of my fellow workers offshore being forced and believe you me its "forced", into a change in their terms and conditions in accepting the 3/3 rota to save costs for the oil and contracting companies.

Chris Berridge, London, UK: I have worked in the oil and gas sector for more than 40 years now and have seen several economic cycles in our industry. Since I only have a few years to go I am less concerned for myself but the future of the industry looks bleak for the workers.

Tom, UK: I have recently started my career with a large UK based oil and gas company, however, I'm now coming to terms with the fact my career is unlikely to involve me staying in the UK for much longer. Shame to see the decline of the North Sea after a very prosperous 40 years, but it's difficult to see it ever fully recovering.

Barry J Clarke, Hemel Hempstead, UK: Amazing isn't it that all the petrol stations from independent through to supermarkets like Sainsburys and Tesco have put their prices up in the last week.

Roderic Kyle, UK: We only have to go back to 1980 to 1986 to see the "deja vu" with the present situation! I worked in drilling (chief mechanic) in the middle east in 1980. The price was high in relative terms - around $35 per barrel, I think it peaked near $40. The pound was at $2.30. New rigs were being ordered worldwide. By 1983, the price had fallen back. The mobile rig market collapsed. I was offshore India when the rig lost its contract. The only work I could find was in the North Sea as a mechanical technician. My income was reduced by over 60%. In 1986 I was on a platform hook-up when the price of oil fell to below $9 per barrel and the oil company were looking at mothballing the platform. The mobile rig market was dead. The worldwide work force was half that of 1981. This time the North Sea is full of old platforms, requiring large amounts of cash to maintain. I do not think the future is anything but downhill for the industry - except for decommissioning and scrapping, and we shall see whether the oil companies clear up their own mess without bleating and asking the tax payer for help! I'm glad to be out of it!

Page created by Dhruti Shah & Victoria Park