Oil & Gas Facts & Figures


  1. Oil (petroleum) is a naturally occurring, yellow-to-black liquid found in geological formations beneath the Earth's surface, which is commonly refined into various types of fuels. It consists of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other organic compounds.
  2. Petroleum is a fossil fuel formed when large quantities of dead organisms are buried underneath sedimentary rock and subjected to intense heat and pressure over millions of years.
  3. The word "petroleum" literally translates as "rock oil." It stems from the Greek word "petra," meaning rock, and the Latin word "oleum," meaning oil.
  4. Oil has been used by people for over 5,000 years, once used as a medicine for treating ailments such as gout and frostbite. Ancient cultures used crude oil as a substance for binding materials and as a sealant for waterproofing various surfaces.
  5. The earliest known oil wells were drilled in China in the year 347 using bits attached to bamboo poles.
  6. Crude oil was first pumped from the ground in Sichuan, China 2,500 years ago.
  7. The first recorded use of pipelines to transport natural gas was in 500 BC, in China. The pipelines were made of bamboo and used to boil sea water to separate the salt from the water.
  8. Crude oil ranges in consistency from liquid to a nearly solid state.

Oil and Gas Extraction and production cycle

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  1. Crude oil is classified as light, medium, or heavy, according to its measured API gravity.
    • Light Crude has an API gravity higher than 31.1 °API
    • Medium Crude has an API gravity between 22.3 °API and 31.1 °API
    • Heavy Crude has an API gravity below 22.3 °API
  2. Oil is measured in barrels, which is equal to 42 US gallons or 159 liters
  3. One barrel of oil accounts for about 19.15 gallons of gasoline, 9.21 gallons of diesel, 3.82 gallons of jet fuel, 1.75 gallons of heating oil and about 7.3 gallons for other petrochemical products like tar, asphalt, bitumen, etc.
  4. One gallon (4 liters) of gasoline has about 31 million calories
  5. It took 23.5 tonnes of ancient, buried plants to produce 1 literof petrol
  6. Crude oil is considered the "mother of all commodities" because of its use in the manufacturing of numerous products, including gasoline, synthetic fabrics (polyester, nylon, vinyl and acrylic), plastics, recreational sports items, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, including the electronic device you are reading on right now.
  7. Products like fertilizers, car tires, ammonia, perfumes and even bubble gum are synthesized using petroleum products obtained during the crude oil refining process.
  8. Glycerin - a sweet-tasting synthetic ingredient used in toothpaste and other products - is a petrochemical derived from oil.