Foreign marketing and the rise of competition
For most of the twenty-five years following the Drake well, the American industry, virtually the world's only source of an exportable surplus of petroleum, had sold by far the larger portion of the output of its refineries outside the United States. As the first quarter-century of the industry's history drew to a close there was little reason to assume that demand for petroleum products would not continue to expand both at home and abroad. But when oil began moving over the Baku-Batoum railway during the 1880's, there was a growing realization that the emergence of the Russian industry posed a threat to the hitherto unchallenged position of the United States in the world's markets for petroleum.
Initial reactions of American observers both as to the significance and imminence of this threat were varied. According to the Scientific Ameri-