No one is arguing about the fact that the oil industry is a major player in the world’s livelihood and economy. It has been said that every human on the planet uses about three gallons of oil and gas every single day. From riding in a car, to cooking food, and taking a hot shower, to using commodities that were produced with oil and gas, our livelihood greatly depends on the oil industry. Perhaps some people wish we relied on oil and gas a little less, but it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. We all know that. But here are a few interesting tidbits about the oil industry that you did not know:
- The oil and gas industry does not rely on dinosaur bones.
No dinosaurs were harmed in the production of the oil and gas that you use to survive. While the oil and gas industry are derived from fossil fuels, it is actually the residue that is left behind by marine plankton and algae millions of years ago. The good news is, today the Earth is about 71% ocean, and the oceans were even more vast millions of years ago when the ancient plankton algae that is today’s oil were swimming around, providing us with (albeit finite) but massive amounts of fossil fuels. This is why we have oil reserves that could last over 50 years at our current consumption rate, and are finding new sources of oil regularly.
- Americans do not rely on the Middle East for oil and gas as much as you think.
There’s a common misconception that all of our oil and gas is shipped in from the Middle East, and Americans are only responsible for downstream oil and gas industry (or the refining and distribution of gas). However, as of 2015, the United States is actually the greatest producer of oil and natural gas. The United States produces more than 9.3 million barrels of crude oil per day, putting get ahead of both Russia and Saudi Arabia in oil production.
In fact, the Middle East is not even the greatest source of oil reserves. According to Business Insider, that title goes to Venezuela, who holds nearly 300 billion barrels of oil in reserves. This is equal to 88 years worth of American oil production.
- The oil industry Is actually incredibly safe industry to work in.
The oil and gas industry has a stigma for being an incredibly hazardous environment for people to work in. At one point in time, working in the oil industry was incredibly dangerous work. However, in the last 25 years, safety standards and regulations have been put in place to ensure that employees have safe working conditions. In fact, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the safety rating for working on an oil rig is better than that of a real estate agent. You are more likely to get into a dangerous car wreck showing houses to clients as a real estate agent and then you are to hurt yourself on an oil rig.
Do you have any interesting oil industry facts that we didn’t include here? Please continue the conversation in the comment section below.