Do you ever wonder when you’re tanking gas at the gas station, where exactly in the world the oil for your vehicle comes from? Or how the oil is extracted from the earth? Whether you do or don’t, tons of workers worldwide ensure that you can always drive your car. They work 24/7 on huge oil rigs at sea, drilling for that precious oil. It’s a very fascinating industry, and in this article we will tell you 4 interesting facts about the oil industry!
1. The U.S.A. is a big player
Not the countries in the Middle East, but America pumps up the most oil daily: about 14 million barrels every single day. And that’s needed: no other country on earth consumes more oil than the United States. Luckily the U.S. can use a lot of oil that doesn’t have to be sent halfway across the world, because the country has the 10th largest oil reserve in the world. Most of the U.S. oil fields are located in Texas – that’s where the saying ‘Texas tea’ comes from!
2. Oil has been used – and drilled for a long time
Using oil to power engines is relatively new when we consider how old the earth is. Did you know that oil has been used for over 5000 years, mostly in medicine? Around 2500 years ago in China they first started drilling for oil. Oil rigs like we know them nowadays are also relatively new; in 1853 in Poland the first modern oil well was drilled. Anno 2021, most oil rigs can be found at sea, such as in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Mexico.
3. Oil rigs are huge
Did you know that oil rigs are huge? Many consider them ‘floating cities’ because they house hundreds of people. To give you an idea of the size: 400 feet by 250 feet isn’t uncommon – that’s the size of two football fields! Workers don’t go home after a shift, but work in rotations. That means they work for a certain amount of time (usually two to three weeks) and can then go home for another two to three weeks. Because workers live full-time at the oil rigs, many are equipped with gyms, pool tables and even cinemas.
4. Workers need certifications to work
The offshore industry can be a dangerous one. For one, oil and gas is super flammable, but also the long working hours can have an impact on the possibility of accidents. Even flying over from the shore to the oil rig can be dangerous – so workers have to know how to save themselves if the helicopter has issues. Depending on the job a worker has, he or she needs to show their certifications for all kinds of courses, from the OPITO Basic Course every worker needs to follow, to more specific courses, such as a H2S training course.
Did you learn anything new in our article? Let us know!