Oil gets a bad rap these days, but the stuff is actually quite incredible.
Many people think of crude oil as a thick, black liquid that is used to source our unquenchable thirst for gasoline. However, the reality is that each barrel of oil is refined to be used in a variety of applications that includes fuel, cosmetics, plastics, rubber, and candle wax.
Today’s infographic comes from JWN Energy, an oil and gas news site. Using Chevron as a source, it shows 17 different things that can be made from each barrel of oil.
Here is everything that can be made from just one barrel of oil:
- Enough gasoline to drive a medium-sized car over 450km (280 miles).
- Enough distillate fuel to drive a large truck for almost 65km (40 miles). If jet fuel fraction is included, that same truck can run nearly 80km (50 miles).
- Nearly 70 kWh of electricity at a power plant generated by residual fuel.
- About 1.8 kg (4 lbs) of charcoal briquettes.
- Enough propane to fill 12 small (14.1 ounce) cylinders for home, camping or workshop use.
- Asphalt to make about 3.8 L (one gallon) of tar for patching roofs or streets.
- Lubricants to make about a 0.95 L (one quart) of motor oil.
- Wax for 170 birthday candles or 27 wax crayons.
But that’s not all. After producing all of the above products, there’s also enough petrochemicals leftover to be used as a base for one of the following:
- 39 polyester shirts
- 750 pocket combs
- 540 toothbrushes
- 65 plastic dustpans
- 23 hula hoops
- 65 plastic drinking cups
- 195 one-cup measuring cups
- 11 plastic telephone housings
- 135 four-inch rubber balls
Oil is not a one-trick pony, and the gooey black liquid actually has thousands of applications. The above serves as one example of how a barrel could be used, but here’s a list of many other oil applications. It includes everything from guitar strings to antihistamines.
Whatever your opinion is of fossil fuels, it’s still pretty astonishing what can be produced out of each barrel of oil.
Making gelatin is fun, and it certainly is delicious. But fracturing gelatin from the inside is a cracking good time.
Hydraulic fracturing was one of the experiments conducted by the SPE Calgary Section during a recent school visit. About 60 students participated in a range of Energy4me activities where they learned concepts such as porosity and perforated well casings in addition to hydraulic fracturing.
Dispelling many of the myths about this form of hydrocarbon production, SPE members explained to students about the technical aspects that are involved in the process, and why it is one of the most regulated and safest forms of hydrocarbon production. The Society of Petroleum Engineers provides good information on hydraulic fracturing on the Energy4me website.
Through Energy4me’s hands-on activities, the students also saw first-hand the results of core sampling on different sub-surface terrains. The SPE members offered instruction on why it is important to use science when investigating what is beneath the surface during hydrocarbon exploration.
From porosity to perforated well casing, students left with a better understanding of the various steps that go into exploration and production.
Globally, Energy4me excites students about the oil and gas industry. Through its award-winning program, Energy4me teaches students that engineers are investigators and problem solvers, often leading to new technologies and innovations for the world’s energy needs.
It pays to have the right tool.
That’s the lesson high school students in San Antonio, Texas, learned during an Energy4me workshop. Nearly 100 students competed in the hands-on activity, which challenges them to produce and refine the most amount of oil in the quickest time with the least (or no) amount of spillage or other complications.
Just like real life!
During the activity, students can purchase or exchange various tools that represent advancing technologies in oil and gas exploration. In one game, they learn about exploration, project management and negotiating.
“I loved the peak oil game because it taught me the importance of having the right equipment and right team when doing a task,” one student said.
The Society of Petroleum Engineers conducts Energy4me workshops and presentations all over the world. Through extensive use of hands-on activities, this innovating program, working in conjunction with the NEED project, encourages students to study engineering. In particular, the peak oil game teaches students the value of exploring for and producing hydrocarbons.
Studies prove that hands-on activities create connections between the classroom and real-world situations. This style of teaching also nurtures critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which are traits that many employers value.
“The Energy4me workshops not only are a lot of fun for the students, but they also are incredibly educational,” said Mary Spruill, NEED executive director. “Because we use hands-on activities, students do not passively listen to a lecture; they must think through a problem or situation. They learn that they can interpret data, which is a fundamental skill for engineers.”
After completing the activity portion of the workshop, students were then treated to a tour of the exhibition floor where they see all of the technology they just learned. The tour is a true highlight of the workshop and the only way that students can access an SPE exhibit floor.
At the same time, the students were learning about oil and gas, 20 science teachers took part in a separate workshop. Energy4me believes that if we educate a teacher, we educate generations of aspiring engineers.
A 5th grade science teacher said, “I now see the importance of combining hands-on experiments with theory to help increase students understanding.”
Teachers receive a free digital version of the Energy4me teacher kit, which includes many resources that they can take back to the classroom. Teachers also get an exhibition tour.
About 360 students in Kuwait did recently, thanks to the Energy4me workshop they attended during the Kuwait Oil & Gas Show.
Walking into the Ahmad Al Jaber Exhibition Center, these students along with 60 teachers were thrilled to see one of the world’s largest curved screens, which gives visitors a glimpse of the industry in Kuwait. The building was designed to look and have the shape of the shell of an extinct marine animal called the ammonite, which lived some 120 million years ago and is thought by scientists to have contributed to the formation of today’s oil reserves.
The Energy4me team took participants on a journey of exploration and production. In the fun and educational workshops, teachers and students learned how humans first discovered oil as they worked through the “natural oil seep” experiment. Next, they investigated seismic technology to see what is beneath the surface; to do that test, the groups used the “sound wave” experiment with Slinkys and Styrofoam cups.
These hands-on activities do so much to help us understand the basic scientific concepts that are dealt with within the industry, but more than that, they help give us an understanding on how to engage with students in the classroom in a fun and easy way,” said one science teacher from the Canadian Bilingual School.
Teachers and students then learned about the value of a core sample in understanding the concepts of pressure, porosity, permeability and density in helping scientists make a decision about where to produce energy. The resources offered by the Energy4me program are designed to help make these concepts more accessible to the public to increase awareness and understanding.
The journey ended with the “perforated well casing” activity, which teaches the concept that perforations help us extract more oil and natural gas, and the “getting the oil out” activity, which always sparks a fierce but friendly team competition to see who can get the oil out of the ground. Only, in this experiment, chocolate syrup and cola take the place of oil (one being more viscous than the other).
The workshops show teachers the value of using hands-on activities to encourage students to pursue STEM-related subjects in school and at university. The aim for the students was to highlight some of the exciting aspects of being an engineer and to help give them a better idea of what to expect should they choose to pursue an engineering career.
All of our experiments are freely downloadable via the Energy4me website and the materials that are needed were designed to be easily accessible in any part of the world so that anyone would be able to use our resources to help educate the public.
The Texas A&M Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) student chapter expanded its Outreach program in 2016-2017 to promote careers in STEM and encourage creative thinking. The initiative reached 500+ K-12 students in the local community, engaging them through visits to elementary/high schools and energy education fairs. Each presentation involved a demonstration that illustrated a petroleum or energy-related concept. One extremely popular demo involved using chocolate pudding, marshmallows, and sprinkles to describe drilling mud! Today, the organization continues to find new ways to spark interest in energy. Plans include a 3D-printed (working) pumping unit, as well as a porosity-permeability demo.
Aberdeen, we have an astronaut!
That wasn’t exactly the introduction as retired NASA astronaut Rick Hieb visited the Scottish city recently to educate local teachers on science and space exploration. But, it was accurate!
Hieb was joined by NASA space scientist Sue Lederer and Hyang Lloyd, president and co-founder of the Scottish Space School Foundation USA. The trio visited Aberdeen as part of the NASA in Aberdeen 2017 project, participating in a range of scientific events catering to students from primary and secondary schools plus families visiting Aberdeen Science Centre.
This initiative was jointly organized by the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the Energy Institute and Society of Underwater Technology.
The NASA in Aberdeen project seeks to inspire the next generation of engineers, said SPE member and Energy4me advocate Colin Black, who also serves as chairman of the NASA in Aberdeen project.
“We seek to show the link between the technology and processes used in space travel and how these translate to the energy industry,” Black said. “A large part of this is providing continued professional development for teachers to continue this learning, encouraging pupils to consider a career in the energy sector as a result.”
The program offered educational lessons to teachers on topics such as staying safe in space and returning to Earth. The teachers said that not only were the resources to be useful and enjoyable but that they also plan to use what they’ve learned in their classrooms, teach their students even more about space travel and its relation to other industries.
“NASA in Aberdeen is an excellent collaboration bringing oil and gas industry bodies together with STEM education organizations to inspire the next generation through demonstrating the exciting possibilities solving the challenges we face both in space as well as here on Earth,” said Stuart Farmer, chair of the educational committee for the NASA in Aberdeen 2017 project. “In addition to the recent visit of NASA staff, the subsequent series of professional development workshops for secondary science teachers ensures the project provides ongoing support for teachers.”
A Slinky and two foam cups. Individually, these items don’t seem like they can play a key role in science. But when you connect them, these household items demonstrate a very important principle in oil exploration – sound waves.
Students from the Bahraini public and private schools attended the Energy4me workshop during the recent Middle East Oil & Gas Show and Conference. In all, just over 200 students and 41 teachers participated in the workshop at the Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) facility in Awali.
The students participated in several hands-on activities that demonstrate various parts of oil and gas exploration and production. The Society of Petroleum Engineers conducts these workshops all over the globe to introduce students to the industry with age-appropriate games and activities. SPE’s goal is to excite students about studying engineering.
The idea that STEM subjects are the key to unlocking all these possibilities and that good engineers are problem solvers and creators.
Also during the workshop, teachers experienced what it was like to be students again by getting their hands dirty while trying to find oil. SPE donated a teacher’s kit which included all of the resources (lesson plans and informational material) that they would need in order to conduct hands-on activities in their own classrooms. The teachers also were treated to a refinery tour courtesy of BAPCO.
Energy4me participated in the Education Week program hosted by the International Petroleum Technical Conference in Bangkok, Thailand. Students from various national schools around Thailand were invited to spend the week with industry professionals and present their IPTC science innovation projects. These projects were on display on the exhibition floor for the duration of the conference and the top 3 were chosen by a panel of industry experts.
Students and teachers participated in the Energy4me Hands-On workshop where they were taken on a journey of exploration, using tools such a sound waves and core sampling to gather data about sub surface geologic formations to better understand how engineers and geologists find oil. Further investigations into the concepts of pressure, density, porosity and permeability of rock formations helped them to better understand the science behind scientific exploration. And the final reward for being such good geological detectives, chocolate syrup and cola which were used to represent the different viscosities of oil when students and teachers tried to get the oil out by building their own pipes for extraction.
Finally the students were taken on an exhibition tour where they got to see the first hand some of the technology that was dealt with in the workshop. They were also introduced to the companies that sponsored the week long event like Exxon Mobil, Chevron & PTTEP.
SPE is proud to announce that in collaboration with PTTEP the Energy4me Oil & natural gas book is now available in Thai. This makes the book aviallabe in 8 different languages. The new Thai version was launched at the workshop and courtesy of PTTEP each student and teacher were given a copy free of charge.