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6 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the Oil and Gas Industry

Mark LaCour September 4, 2018 15


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I’m going to share six things that most people don’t know about the oil and gas industry, including people who work in the oil and gas industry.

Number one. Did you know oil and gas are probably the most natural things you can find on the planet? They were formed millions of years ago when microscopic creatures in the ocean died, right?  These microscopic creatures captured the energy of sunlight and turned into carbon. As they died and settled on the ocean floor, layers of sediment build up over them.  As time went on pressure and heat turned that carbon in hydrocarbons.

So, oil and gas are the most natural things you can find that came from dead ancestors.  Dinosaurs, algae plants, swamps, whatever have been compressed by the earth for millions of years. It’s the fuel that we use now, and yet it’s totally natural.

Number two. Oil is important. And you go, “Yeah. So what?”  Did you know 3% of all the GDP in the world is based upon oil? It’s about 70% of our energy made globally. 100% of our transportation is run by oil. Oil is as important to the human race as agriculture.

Number three. It’s big. You wonder how big? In the US, just using the natural gas pipeline system, if we took all these pipelines, they would go from here to the moon eight times! Think about that. That’s just the United States and that’s just natural gas.  So, the oil and gas industry is unbelievably big.

Here’s another good point you also may not know. About 40% of all the cargo in the oceans at any one time is oil being moved. If you take that oil and weigh it, it’s more than all the fish in the ocean. So, any one time more oil is being moved than our fish in the ocean, does that tell you how big this industry is?

Number four. Oil is wealth. And I don’t mean it makes people money; it’s a wealth for the human population.  The United Nations Human Development index says that energy consumption in kilograms of oil equivalent per year equals quality of life. To explain that another way, the more energy the world population has, the better the quality of life. So, energy is wealth, and yet it’s wealth from a human prosperity point of view.

Number five. The oil and gas industry is a really safe place to work. It’s actually safer than being real estate! I have no idea what’s going on with real estate to make it that dangerous. Let me give you another statistic — in the US, the rate of injury working offshore is lower than being a teacher which means it’s actually safer to work offshore than it is to be a teacher here. That’s how safe this industry is.

Then, finally Number Six. Oil and gas companies really don’t make that much money. You look at the big super majors and they’re enormous so the amount of revenue they generate is a lot, and yet as far as profit margin it’s small, usually 8-10%. Let me put that in perspective. McDonald’s, the restaurant company, tends to make about 17% profit margin and Apple is 39%.  All in all, the oil and gas industry is much less profitable than most people realize.

There you go! Six things that a lot of people don’t know about the oil and gas industry.

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