Energy Makes Holiday Season Bright

Edward Cross, President | Kansas Independent Oil & Gas Association

December 17, 2018

Before the holidays, many of us will search for the perfect gifts for loved ones. What many don’t realize, however, is that nearly every one of us will either give or receive the gift of petroleum this holiday season.

When talking about petroleum, most people likely have the image of a barrel filled with a black gooey substance, or at best, a gift card for your local gas station, neither of which seems like an ideal holiday gift. But, what I’m talking about and what most people do not realize is that petroleum is part of some of the most popular gifts, from the iPad, or TV on the top of your wish list, to the many gifts asked for by children in letters to Santa.

When thinking about the role of oil and gas in our lives, most people look only as far as their vehicles and the price of gasoline, but petroleum plays an integral role in nearly every aspect of our lives. Oil-based products are likely the first thing you touch at the beginning and end of each day, whether it is your alarm clock, television remote, iPhone, or even the toothpaste and toothbrush you use to brush your teeth. Those who wear make-up or synthetic fibers, such as polyester or nylon, are using or touching petroleum nearly 24 hours a day, and, as a key component in heart valves, seat belts, helmets, life vests, and even Kevlar, petroleum is saving tens of thousands of lives daily. Furthermore, oil and gas are improving our living environments by heating our homes in the winter, cooling them in the summer, and keeping our lights on and petroleum-based gadgets fully charged.

These are just a few of the improvements that oil and gas makes in our lives and societies around the world. And, in the same way that we take great pride in our agriculture sector and the role it plays in feeding people around the world, we should also take great pride in the role our oil and gas industry plays in providing a commodity essential to our very way of life.

Affordable energy is essential for almost every aspect of our modern lives. Without it, we wouldn’t have many of the things we often take for granted. Affordable energy is needed to run hospitals and laboratories that improve our health. It’s required to deliver electricity to our homes and put fuel in our vehicles. It also supports millions of jobs associated with all of these things and more.

This year (2018) will go down as another year of historic growth of oil production and opportunity across the nation. We should take a moment to recognize the incredible impact our oil and gas industry has had on our state, our nation, and the world. The technologies and innovations developed here in America to unleash our abundant oil and natural gas reserves are bringing us closer to energy independence.

Our nation’s energy abundance can be used to lift people up. More than a billion people around the world face challenges for adequate food and education, clean water and protection from heat and cold due to lack of access to energy. We should work to ensure more people have access to safe, affordable, and reliable energy, no matter which state, nation, or continent they reside. Because to rise out of poverty and enjoy health and safety, people need more energy, not less.

As an industry, we are proud to produce a resource that is used to fuel the airplanes and vehicles that will bring families together this holiday season; the resource that will go into the gifts that will be exchanged; and the resource that is bringing us closer to energy independence.

On behalf of the oil and gas industry, we wish you all a happy holiday season.

U.S. becomes net exporter of petroleum, Illinois oil production remains steady

Brook Schyler | WSIL

For the first time in nearly 75 years, the United States has become a net exporter of petroleum, which consists of crude oil and natural gas liquids.

Seth Whitehead, Executive Director of the Illinois Petroleum Resource board, says shale drilling in places such as Texas and New Mexico, over the past ten years, is mainly responsible for the breakthrough in petroleum.

Although there’s no shale drilling in Illinois, oil production is still a major part of the economy. The state’s oil wells pump 8-9 million barrels of crude oil annually. That’s just one day’s worth of crude oil production for the entire country.

“It’s a small piece of the pie, but the impact that our small industry has on the state is anything but small,” Whitehead says.

Illinois has about 650 oil fields, mostly located in the southern part of the state. Whitehead says the industry directly employs 4,000 workers, mostly in White and Lawrence counties.

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