Edward Burtynsky's striking photographs in his book OIL document the different phases of oil consumption in the world, starting from its extraction and refinement, to its importance in our transportation culture, and finally to its symbolic end product.

Here are some of Burtynsky's images from the book.

[Published by Steidl, October 2009. Hardcover, 140 pages. $128.]
Photographs of vast monochromatic fields of oil wells are a recurring theme in the first section of Burtynsky's book, "Extraction and Refintement," along with many more portraits of the origins of our oil consumption.

Shown here: Oil fields in Belridge California
An oil refinery in Oakville, Ontario, Canada
What remains of an assembly line corridor in Ford's Highland Park Plant in Detroit, Michigan, where the first Model T's were created and the assembly line was invented.
The "Transportation" section of Burtynsky's book focuses on what much of the world's oil contributes to--automobile culture. His series of highway systems includes images from Shanghai, Los Angeles, Houston, and New Jersey.

Shown here: an intricate (and quite symmetrical!) highway system in Los Angeles, California.
A lot in Shanghai filled with VW cars.
The Iowa 80 Truckstop, at Exit 284 off the I-80, is the world's largest truckstop. Thousands of truckers come together for the Truckers Jamboree, which has been held there every year since 1979.
A puzzle of neon lights and highway signs in Breezewood, Pennsylvania
The last chapter, "The End of Oil," shows images symbolic of just that--the remnants left behind before we begin another cycle of extraction and consumption of oil.

Shown here: SOCAR Oil Fields in Baku, Azerbaijan
Sikorsky Helicopter Scrap Yard in Tucson, Arizona
Old tires are piled high in the Oxford Tire Pile in Westley, California.