We’re so used to pumping gas at a gas station, it’s easy to forget how much work it takes to extract pump oil or where your oil comes from. In this article, we tell you more about this interesting industry in 4 facts.
The U.S.A. produces the most oil
While many people think of the Middle East straight away when someone mentions oil produce, the U.S.A. is actually the country that produces the most oil: nearly 14 million barrels of oil every day. A big part of this is produced in Texas: about 36% percent of all the oil output. Not surprisingly the state has about a third of the oil reserves! Other countries that produce a lot of oil are Saudi Arabia, Russia, Canada and China.
Workers on offshore oil rigs have very different lifestyles
Did you know that a lot of the oil (and gas) that gets pumped, is done on offshore oil rigs? You can find big oil rigs in the North Sea, but also in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Mexico. Oil gets pumped 24/7, which means that workers have to work in shifts. Most workers work in rotations: they work two to three weeks and then switch with a new group of workers. During the switch, they can rest at home. If it’s not the time to switch, workers stay on the platform, where there are some very strict rules. Drinking and non-prescription drugs are forbidden and many companies even have mobile phones banned. Luckily this isn’t the eighties anymore – most rigs nowadays have wifi, so workers can check in with their families on tablets and laptops. Some modern rigs even have game rooms, gyms and cinemas!
Workers are heavily trained
In this industry, the work goes on 24/7. It’s also work that’s possibly dangerous – for instance, oils and gasses are highly flammable! That’s why workers in this industry are heavily trained before they ever set foot on an oil platform. Especially if you work on an oil rig at sea, you need to know all kinds of things, from survival at sea to how you stay safe in a helicopter to first aid. That’s why the Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Organisation (in short OPITO) came up with OPITO training courses. There’s the Basic Training, which everyone has to take, but there are also specialized training courses if you need extra skills. For instance, the OPITO T-HUET is focused on safety in a helicopter, when the delegate needs to travel from and to offshore oil and gas installations by helicopter. This course teaches everything from in-flight requirements to how to escape the helicopter in the event of an emergency.
You shouldn’t underestimate the size of an oil platform
Did you know that oil platforms are absolutely huge? Some of the tallest installations are about as high as the famous Eiffel Tower in France! Even oil rigs at sea can be huge – think of a small island!
We hope you learned something new!