When you turn on the gas in your kitchen to cook or pump gas in your car at the gas station, you don’t tend to think about how this was extracted from the core of the earth, or how many people work day and night in the oil and gas industry to ensure you can use oil and gas whenever it’s needed. But we think this industry deserves some spotlight, because it’s a huge industry worldwide. In this article, we tell you four very interesting facts about this big industry.
Oil has been used for thousands of years
While ‘modern oil drilling’ has only been around for a little less than 200 years, people have been using oil for centuries. For instance, the ancient Babylonians used crude oil that bubbled up to the surface in construction, while the ancient Egyptians used oil to help preserve corpses. Yet it took years and years before this weird substance that came from the earth would be exploited. In 1853, oil was first drilled with a modern oil well – and used straight away, because the technological growth created new products, such as oil lamps to light homes. When the first ‘motor car’ was invented in 1885, the demand for oil only grew!
The U.S. can be glad for their ‘Texas tea’
Did you know that no other country in the world consumes more oil than America? Luckily the U.S. doesn’t have to import all that oil, because underneath the U.S., the tenth largest oil reserve in the world can be found. Currently the U.S. pumps about 14 million barrels of oil a day, most of that in the Texan oil fields. That’s why they sometimes call oil ‘Texas tea’! Other countries that produce thousands of barrels daily are Canada, Saudi Arabia, Russia and China.
Working on an oil rig isn’t without risk
Oil rigs can be found in the ocean, for instance in the gulf of Mexico and the gulf coast of Texas. They are veritable ‘little cities’ that house hundreds of workers. Because oil and gas is highly flammable ánd workers have to work in sometimes harsh conditions at sea, they are required to take safety training before they’re allowed to work offshore. Just like people in industry jobs have to show off their OSHA certification, workers on oil platforms need an OPITO certification. There are multiple OPITO courses, depending on what an employees’ job is and the risks they face.
Oil rigs are mini-cities
We mentioned before that oil rigs house hundreds of workers. That’s because the workers work in rotations and during that time (usually two to three weeks) they don’t leave the rig. For that reason there are sleeping quarters, but also spaces where workers can unwind after their shifts and use the wifi or watch a movie. Some oil rigs are even equipped with a full gym!
Did you learn anything new about the oil industry? Let us know in the comments!