In 2012, global production of crude oil and natural gas reached a massive 87.1 billion barrels per day. This is an increase of 3.5 billion barrels a day from the previous year. While we put this down to the increased amount of people using petrol to drive their cars, light their houses and offices, the truth is that this only plays a small role in our petroleum consumption.
In fact, the truth is that we use petroleum in places that we least expect it. Here is a list of five items that you never knew has petroleum in:
Cosmetics: Skin creams and moisturizer are fantastic products to keep your skin looking fresh and young. However, did you know that the cream that you rub on your face is actually the decayed mass of millions of dead organisms. Since petroleum-based products can make up to 80 percent of cosmetic’s ingredients that is essentially what you are paying for. The most common components in cosmetics are oils, dyes, waxes and other petrochemicals (chemical products that originate from petroleum). In fact, next time you use your shampoo, conditioner or hair dye, remember that these products also consist mainly of crude oil.
Synthetic Fabrics: Petroleum based fibers are durable, easy to maintain and readily available. Add to that, that they are generally cheaper that natural fabrics, synthetic fibers are becoming increasingly popular products in the world of fashion. In addition to clothing, there are plenty of other products that use synthetic fibers, such as curtains, carpets and couches. So next time you put on an item of clothing or close the curtains, remember that crude oil played a major role in producing that product.
Cleaning Products: If you take a look at the list of components in a cleaning product, you will find a list of things that you have never heard of and probably some that you cannot even pronounce. This list has components in that can kill you and others to just make your kitchen sink shine a little brighter. The average cleaning product has a mixture of petrochemicals – like glycerine, for example, which is commonly found in household laundry and dish cleaners.
Medicine Products: Most of the medications produced today are by-products of benzene, which in turn is derived from petroleum. Almost all of your over-the-counter medications, such as headache tablets, are based on this petrochemical. In fact, petroleum-based products are used extensively in homeopathy. While these medications do not cause your body harm, it is interesting to note that the pill you pop for your headache is actually one that has its origins in the very same product that drives our motor vehicles forward and lights up our homes.
Synthetic Rubber: In the world of manufacturing, synthetic rubber is often preferred over latex. The substance is commonly found in sports goods, shoes and tyres. The average vehicle tyre is made by using around eight gallons of oil. Synthetic rubber is also commonly used in wire and cable insulation. The main factor that limits its use is the high cost compared to using natural rubber.
Crude oil plays a major role in our lives. Not only is oil used in the making of these products, but they are also used in the production of the materials used to make the product. In reality, oil is the major reason the world works the way it does.
I am Greg Jones, an oil and gas analyst. I recently attended the oil and gas forums in Europe and gave a presentation on the areas in which oil is used. Interesting, not all the participants knew that crude oil is used to make products such as headache tablet and sleeping pills.