What's in a barrel of oil?

99 barrels of oil on the wall.

Wait. Wrong song. Cut the tape.

With lots of conversations about fuel resources, where they come from, and how they impact energy prices, we thought it might be prudent to talk about a common term: a barrel of oil. Have you ever stopped to consider what is actually in one of those “barrels”. According to the US Energy Information Administration, a barrel of oil contains 42 gallons of crude oil which is then refined into 45 gallons of product (some of these products expand and “gallon” is a volumetric measurement; aka physics is crazy).

Some of these products we are familiar with: gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, etc. These are the everyday products that get us from A-to-B. Other products help heat homes or are used by energy plants to make electricity for our homes (see “residual fuel oil”, “hydrocarbon gas liquids”, and “heating oil”).

The rest? This is our petrochemicals. Our paraffin wax. Our lipstick. Our kayaks. Our synthetic fleece. Lubricating oils. Asphalt. You know, maybe a few things you’ve heard of once or twice.

Read more about what’s in a barrel of oil: https://bit.ly/38wl6OB.

Maybe even more fun... Why does oil (like whiskey, wine, etc) come in a barrel? At the time of the American oil boom (mid-1800s) we were producing so much oil that we didn't know where to put it all. Especially when it came to transporting it (pipelines were not a thing). So, those same vessels that we used for the globe's other favorite liquids (read: liquor) became storage vessels for oil too. More at: https://bit.ly/3vxxigp