A recipe of blurbs by a hungry dad-filled with sarcasm, truth, and a dash of that rare ingredient, common sense.

Monday, April 4, 2011

All About Oil

I figured since I work in the oil and gas industry that I would take a little time to educate you a little bit about oil. Especially since what the media tends to tell you about this industry is complete and utter bullshit 90% of the time.

Most people think that the only thing which comes from oil is gasoline and motor oil. That is not really all that comes from oil. A multitude of stuff is made from oil and has been for a really long time including stuff that you probably had no idea is made with or from crude oil.

The standard unit of measure when talking about oil is the barrel, which is 42 gallons. Of the 42 gallons of oil in barrel, here is the breakdown of what it is used to make.

19.4 gallons – gasoline

10.04 gallons – diesel

3.91 gallons – jet fuel

1.68 gallons – heavy fuel oil

1.24 gallons – heating oil

1.72 gallons – liquefied petroleum gases

6.80 gallons – other products

Now I know that the total here adds up to above 42 gallons, and that is because the process used to refine crude oil into something useful gets out more than the original amount. Pretty neat huh?

But what I really wanted to inform you about is the 6.80 gallons of crude oil that goes into making “other products”. Some of the products made from this portion of a barrel of crude oil are either made directly from the crude oil, or the crude oil is involved in some form or fashion of making the compounds used to make these other products.

Here is a nice little list of stuff made into these so called “other products”: cold cream, fan belts, refrigerators, movie film, car enamel, golf balls, contact lenses, shaving cream, toothpaste, drinking cups, ammonia, solvents, ink, upholstery, tires, dresses, cassettes, motor cycle helmets, cd players, curtains, vitamin capsules, dashboards, putty, percolators, skis, tool racks, mops, umbrellas, roofing, denture adhesive, speakers, tennis rackets, nylon rope, water pipes, shampoo, guitar strings, antifreeze, clothes, combs, vaporizers, heart valves, enamel, anesthetics, dentures, floor wax, sweaters, car bodies, bicycle tires, dishwasher parts, caulking, faucet washers, food preservatives, antihistamines, cortisone, dyes, life jackets, tv cabinets, car battery cases, slacks, yarn, toilet seats, linoleum, synthetic wood, rubber cement, candles, hand lotion, wheels, luggage, football helmets, toothbrushes, cd’s, dvd’s, balloons, crayons, pillows, artificial turf, model cars, motor oil, ballpoint pens, boats, nail polish, golf bags, tool boxes, petroleum jelly, antiseptics, basketballs, purses, deodorant, panty hose, rubbing alcohol, shag rugs, epoxy, insect repellent, fertilizers, fishing rods, ice cube trays, electric blankets, fishing boots, trash bags, roller skates, paint rollers, aspirin, awnings, ice chests, paint brushes, sun glasses, parachutes, dishes, artificial limbs, folding doors, bearing grease, football cleats, insecticides, fishing lures, perfumes, show polish, tape, clotheslines, soap, shoes, footballs, refrigerant, linings, electrician’s tape, paint, oil filters, hair coloring, lipstick, synthetic rubber, glycerin, dice, house paint, surf boards, shower curtains, safety glasses, eyeglasses, detergents, tents, telephones, cameras, bandages, and hair curlers.

That is just a list of roughly 100 or so of the products that are made from crude oil. There are THOUSANDS of products which are made either directly or indirectly from crude oil. And this does not include any of the associated natural gas or condensate related products which come from the gas phase during oil and gas production.

So why did I tell you all of this you ask? So that you can see that more comes from oil other than gasoline or travel related stuff. Plus in some of my upcoming posts I will refer you back to this post as well.

And if you are one of the anti-oil people, try living without all of the products that I listed above. Because unless you are Amish (and if you are Amish, chances are you are not reading this post), you are using crude oil. You don't hear the "environmentalists" talking about how they are "living like the Amish" when they lecture you about the evil oil and gas industry.


  1. I love that you did this! I am Quality Assurance Quality Control Coordinator for an Oil & Gas company; specifically one that makes the majority of blow out preventer control systems for all of Canada & many in the US and overseas.

    That whole 'Don't Buy Gas Day to stick it to the oil companies' on Facebook pissed me off. What people don't realize is that hundreds of thousands of jobs would be lost if the oil companies went out of business; including yours & mine.

    I'm not sure what you do within the industry but if I didn't do my job, there would be hundreds of rigs all over the world that started exploding oil all over because their control systems failed. Not only would that cost money, it would cost lives of not only humans but of wildlife, insects & pretty much anything living for miles around.

    Phew...rants done. Thanks for posting this...people's ignorance irritates me sometimes.

  2. I'm an environmentalist in the sense that I want clean air and clean water, I mean who doesn't? I'm also enough of a realist to understand that this industry provides products and services and jobs that America can't do without. So until I find some alternative alien fuel that works like oil without the sticky mess, I'll just shut my yap.
    Thanks for all the info!

    P.s. I was Amish, but I couldn't grow that chinstrap beard so they kicked me out.

  3. This comes under fascinating fact and I liked it.

  4. very interesting post - little known facts about the oil industry...thanks man...and i will keep the porn titles coming (no pun intended)

  5. @ Primed, I am glad that you feel the same way that I do.

    @ D'Artagnan, I am glad you took something away from this. And I hear you about the Amish beards, I couldn't grow it either.

    @ Lurker, thank you.

    @ Tony, yes I am.

    @ Ryan, thank you sir you are doing a valuable service to men.

  6. Damn dude this is really interesting. Amazing how I learn more in 10 minutes from Blogger than I could after 24 hours of watching the news.

    Thanks for this.

  7. So basically if we run out we're screwed, right? haha.

    Very interesting post.

  8. Movie film? Golf balls? None of those things can be made without crude oil? Why? Can't other chemicals substitute? I'm confused. This is highly relevant, though, and thanks for the explanation. It helps explain the government's determination to go to work (Libya, Iraq - all about oil). Right?
    Be well, Mr. O.

  9. @ Jeff, yep it is interesting. The news will never tell you the truth about anything anymore.

    @ TS, yep pretty much.

    @ Robyn, where do you think the other "chemicals" mostly come from? They come from oil.

  10. Good Post. I get tired of some of my hippy friends in Vancouver and their whole.....How can you live with yourself working in the oilsands. Well I must say that it does bother me at times when I see the destruction but I also understand we are too dependent on it.
    I also love how the US is pointing fingers at the Alberta Oilsands right now/again on the news last night. How's the Gulf doing? Clean up your own backyard first.

  11. @ Galore, I agree with you. And you just can't trust the media when it comes to our industry. Oh it pisses me off to no end.

  12. Such a timely post - much needed and appreciated.
    Since you wander over to my post regularly (hugs) you've surmised that I'm in the beauty industry and as such I am forever telling those "anti-petroleum-product-in- my- cosmetics" fluffy-heads to get a grip - even their so called "green" product is in some way related to Mr. Oil!

    Hard cold facts are sometimes a necessary evil when it comes to educating those that are spoon fed their information from highly questionable sources.

    Excellent post,

  13. I love seeing a coherent defence of just why you can't "stop" producing oil to make the environment/world better. The indictment of the oilsands by media who are only too happy to continue using all the goods produced from those same oilsands just so they can garner headlines & attention/popularity is beyond ridiculous.

  14. @ Pearson, yep that is very true. And yes cold hard facts are needed here.

    @ Tav, that is very true. And I so agree with you about the idiots in the media.

  15. ahhh how true...how true!!! My only beef with the oil industry is their lack of "cleanup". i dont mind what they do..just fix it and cleaning everything up when you're done!

    speaking from a O&G industry worker myself!
    our claim to fame....the dirty nasty tar sands that help me pay my mortgage.

    have you seen "Downstream".... if not, i'd suggest watching it. it's interesting...

  16. Very informative. True that the media blows everything out.

    My latest complaint is not about the industry but about Transocean and the fact that they gave "safety bonuses" despite being the owners of the rig that BP leased. You know, April 20, 2010, lots of oil in the gulf. Even after all of that the company, Transocean, had what was considered to be exemplary safety records.

    Can you help me out with that one?

  17. I just get sad knowing that $50 doesn't even give me a half tank of gas anymore. I literally had to choose between gas or milk this week. It sucks shit. Not that I drink milk, but that means absolute whining from the kids who want milk for a week STRAIGHT. It's like living in Hell. Except colder, because I refuse to turn my heat on (to save money) and my house is not insulated much at all.

  18. Great post! I share your opinion that the media is bias as h*ll about oil. I wish they'd broadcast how much money the govt actually makes off oil taxation. The last I heard... the tax rate was more than 50% of the purchase price at the pump! Is that still true?

  19. @ Williamsgirl, I will have to check out that.

    @ Mamma, I agree with you there. I was wondering the same exact thing when I read about that earlier this week.

    @ Sara, I know how you feel, I have had to give up beer.

    @ SAssy, I will have to look into that and make a post for everyone about it.

  20. holy fuck that is a lot of sh*t comming from oil...

    Well my dad works with the Royal Dutch Shell Group, so I can't really complain ;)

  21. Great post and a service to the ignorant (and I truly don't mean that as an insult). I know you'll open some eyes.
    Plus, the Amish always come handy as an example, don't they?
    Oh and @ Smart Ass Sara: you're right. Sucking shit is never a good thing.

  22. It is always nice to be able to gain a more balanced perspective on such a controversial topic. Seriously, what would a girl do without her contacts, football helmet, lipstick and surf board? ; )

  23. Comment Part 2

    Well, this has nothing to do with oil really.

    Just wanted to show ya some lubs and to get ya to stop by my blog for a little something' something'.

    Ok...you can bring some oil...

  24. If we get rid of crayons and hair dye I'm seriously staging a fucking coup.

  25. @ Elex, yes it sure is a lot of shit that comes from oil.

    @ Al, thank you.

    @ Empress, yes that is true. And don't forget the sexwax, yep that comes from oil as well.

    @ Primed, ah thank you. You are too sweet.

    @ Anna, I will join you on that Anna.

  26. Boatload of schtuff made from oil.

    I would like to add another point of sorts if I could.

    With all of those environmentalists asking people to boycott oil, I wonder if those same people would have the same problem whenever they say boycott Disney with all the tenacles that they got in the proverbial media pie.

  27. You are nothing if not informative, OT. love it. You are too right-those radical environmentalists who ride bikes instead of cars are still using crude oil...pretty much nothing gets made without it.

  28. The media is ridiculous and anyone to takes it at face value should be shoved in a barrel of oil.

    I can't even climb on that soap box because it makes me so mad I won't be able to sleep. So instead I'm going to methodically count and reorganize in alphabetical order all the items in my house that are made from oil or oil byproducts. *commencing OCD now*

  29. @ Becca, thanks.

    @ G, I highly doubt anyone would boycott Disney. Unless Disney pissed off the gays.

    @ Manager, thank you.

    @ Jewels, yep and that is one of the reasons I posted this.

    @ Daffy, you summed it up. I hate the damn media. Oh and I good luck, you will be at it all night long.

  30. I like those no gas days not because it hurts the oil companies and more probably the employees of said companies not the owners but because it deprives the government their blood money for a day. I agree these idiots with their heads up their arses out there in their rubber boats with their plastic bull horns wearing their nylon rain gear still have the hypocrisy to yell about the oil companies supplying that stuff for them. Just saying.

  31. Whew! I thought you were going to tell me we were dependent on fossil fuels.

  32. oily! great post!

    people are idiots. the oil industry is what makes our world run.

    the problem i have is the insane profitably that i s purported...like 7 billion a quarter?

    so many things in this world are tied to the oil industry...

    and people want to think we fight wars in oil countries for human rights?

    Canada has huge reserves, they just have not pissed of the USSIES yet...

    oil = money = world goes round...

    good post!

  33. I was totally looking for 'liquor' in your list of other products.

  34. @ Runew, yep you summed it up as well.

    @ Copyboy, exactly.

    @ Bruce, thank you. I would agree with you about the profit side of it IF the oil companies set the price of their product. Which they do not do since oil is a commodity and traded.

    @ Mrs Hyde, nope they still make booze the old fashioned way.

  35. I knew it was a lot of stuff, but had no idea how much...


  36. Thanks for the info OT! I know a little about a lot of random things... now I know this too. Thanks for the education!

  37. Thank you for posting this, OT. Most don't realize how dependent we are on all the "byproducts".

    I'll probably link back to this in an upcoming post.

  38. Ooooh! Neat stuff...I learned something new today. My deodorant comes from crude oil! Who knew?! I am not an "anti-oil" or super tree hugging environmentalist type (despite my liberal leanings) - my only complaint is that political BS swirled up in the oil industry makes it $60 to fill my car up with gas. Seriously. I cringe, and then border on crying when I fill up my car. But, thanks for the edumacation on all of the other stuff that comes from crude oil!

  39. I'm going to start drilling out back tonight!
    Nice lesson!

  40. I knew it was in a shit-ton of stuff, but thanks for spelling it out.

    Also? I'd be one of those stupid shits with an electric car that always forgets TO PLUG IT IN TO RECHARGE.

    I know I'm stuck on oil either way. Pardon the lame pun.



  41. @ Pearl, yep it is a lot of stuff.

    @ Randomgirl, you are welcome.

    @ Cryptos, you are also welcome.

    @ Reck, glad I could help you learn something new.

    @ Kristen, with gas above $4 a gallon I have already started that.

    @ Stephanie, no problem. Glad I could help you learn something.

  42. wow...i really didn't know this.

  43. This was really informative. At least now I know what to say when people bug me about how our oil consumption is killing the earth or whatever.

    Usually, I just say something along the lines of "as long as there's still hot guys around, I don't care," but say something smart would be a nice change. (:

  44. @ Paige, that is why I posted this post.

    @ Lemons, Thank you very much. Glad I could inform a few people.

  45. This is really interesting! I knew that crude oil was used for a lot of other things besides fuel but I didn't really know how far reaching it is.

    Also explains why you call yourself Oilfield :-D

  46. @ Cake, thank you. I am glad you learned something. And yes that is why my name is such as it is because I work in the oilpatch.

  47. GREAT post!
    Our entire economy relies on oil...


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