Besides gas, I found over 6000 products made from the oil industry

I did some research and it turns out the oil industry has a much bigger impact on the economy beyond the gas pump.

One 42-gallon barrel of oil creates 19.4 gallons of gasoline. The rest (over half) is used to make everyday products.

Americans consume petroleum products at a rate of three-and-a-half gallons of oil and more than 250 cubic feet of natural gas per day each!

Although the major use of petroleum is as a fuel, (gasoline, jet fuel, heating oil), and petroleum and natural gas are often used to generate electricity, there are many other uses.

Pharmaceuticals and Health Care

Petroleum is used widely in health care. When it comes to pharmaceuticals, oil is often used in the manufacturing of pills, capsules and disposable syringes. It is also vital in the production of physical aids such as hearing aids, pacemakers, artificial hips, prosthetic limbs, crutches, eyeglasses and wheelchairs.

Fertilizers and Pesticides

Synthetic fertilizers are usually derived from petroleum by-products. Petroleum chemicals are also the source of many pesticides used for insect control. Our world’s agriculture depends on the use of pesticides and fertilizers in order to grow healthy crops.

Detergents and Solvents

Some cleaning solvents contain petroleum because it quickly dissolves grease, grime and burnt-on materials. Most modern detergents contain petroleum-derived products and/or chemicals derived from fats and other oils.

Artificial Scents and Perfumes

Synthetic and artificial scents are composed of man-made materials such as petroleum that produces a longer lasting and stronger scent since they don’t break down easily over time.

Asphalt and Tar

Petroleum oil is used as a binder for gravel to form asphalt concrete. This is then used to pave roads, etc. It is also used in tar, a dark brown or black sticky substance used to seal roofs and other waterproofing needs.


Light machine lubricants, motor oils and greases are all products derived from petroleum. The lubricating nature of petroleum helps to reduce the friction, heat and wear between mechanical components.


Plastic is created by using natural, organic materials such as cellulose, coal, natural gas, salt as well as crude oil.

Petroleum Jelly

Known more commonly by its commercial name “Vaseline”, this petroleum by-product is commonly used for burns, scrapes, cracked skin and lubrication.

CLICK HERE for a partial list of products made from Petroleum (6000)

photo credit: Getty

story credit: US Dept. of Energy