EGEE 120
Oil: International Evolution

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Welcome to EGEE 120!

Old photo of derrick with oil gushing into the air
Lucas gusher
Credit: Lucas gusher from Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

New to EGEE 120?

Not registered? Students who register for this Penn State course gain access to assignments and instructor feedback and earn academic credit.


Edwin Piñero; Bachelor's in Geology from the State University of New York and Master's in Geology (oil and gas emphasis) from Texas A&M University.


Yaw D. Yeboah, Professor and Head, John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University.


EGEE 120 is a required course for the Bachelor of Arts in Energy Sustainability and Policy online degree program, geared towards students who can study only part-time and at a distance. This General Education course will provide a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding how oil affects international relations and commerce. The relationships between oil technology, social and political institutions, and the unique cultures in oil-producing regions will be investigated. The course can be applied toward Penn State’s General Education Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS), and US Cultures (US) or International Cultures (IL) requirements.

Learning Environment

Canvas, Penn State's course management system, is used to support the delivery of this course, as it provides the lesson material, primary communications, calendaring, and submission tools for the course.

Topics of Study

The content of this course is divided into 12 modules that follow the Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power by Daniel Yergin and The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World by Daniel Yergin. (required reading for the course). Each lesson will be completed in approximately 1 week (A few lessons may take longer).

  1. The Rise of American Oil and the Competitive International Oil Industry
  2. Standard Oil Trust and the Oil Wars
  3. Asian Oil Development and World War 1
  4. Middle East Oil Development and the Rise of Automobiles and Gasoline
  5. Boom and Bust Cycles
  6. Oil, Strategy, and World War II
  7. World War II and Post-war Order
  8. Post-war Petroleum Order and Crises
  9. The Hydrocarbon Age
  10. OPEC
  11. Supply Disruptions, Price Shocks, and Oil Market Trading
  12. Crisis in the Gulf, Mergers, New Provinces and Oil since the Prize
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This course is offered as part of the Open Educational Resources initiative of Penn State's John A. Dutton e-Education Institute. You are welcome to use and reuse materials that appear in this site (other than those copyrighted by others) subject to the licensing agreement linked to the bottom of this and every page.

Only students who register for this Penn State course gain access to assignments and instructor feedback, and earn academic credit. Information about Penn State's Online Energy and Sustainability program is available at the ESP Program Office.