Oil is one of the modern world’s most important resources: it’s the raw form of the fuels that power our cars, lorries, ships and aeroplanes. Without it, whole economies would grind to a halt – and despite efforts by countries around the world to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, it remains the world’s single most actively traded commodity.
To help people understand the importance of the global oil trade – and its impact on politics and diplomacy – we’ve created an online tool that visualises the world’s top ten importers and exporters of oil, for each year from 1995 to 2014.
Users of A World of Oil can select a year and a country to see not only that country’s ten biggest clients for that year, but how much they bought or sold from each client. This information is conveyed on a three-dimensional globe that can be spun around to easily show where the oil flows – and how trends have changed from year to year.
All the data underpinning the piece comes courtesy of UN Comtrade, the United Nations body that tracks the movements and prices of thousands of commodities all over the world. Studying and analysing data like this is just one of the things students on our BSc Oil and Gas Management courses do, and we felt A World of Oil was a great way to illustrate this aspect of the work.
And we’re delighted to announce that we’re not the only ones – at least two highly-respected web design award bodies agree! A World of Oil was chosen as the Awwwards Site of the Day on August 22nd, receiving high marks all round for is design, usability, creativity and content. Getting noticed by Awwwards is no easy task, and we were thrilled by this recognition of the hard work that went into this project.
As if this wasn’t enough, A World of Oil was also picked as Site of the Day by the CSS Design Awards for August 17th. These awards celebrate outstanding accomplishment in creativity and technical execution, and we were incredibly pleased to see A World of Oil recognised by the judges of this prestigious accolade.
Anyone who’s used A World of Oil since the site launched hopefully found it just as impressive, and if you haven’t seen it yet, please head on over to the main site and experience it for yourself. We hope it inspires people to take an interest in the global trade of oil – the commodity that’s defined the modern era.