Oil And Gas
When we think of the petroleum industry (oil and gas) we are looking at exploration, extraction, refining, and marketing and distribution services. The main area of this industry is of course fuel oil for home and industry and gasoline. There are also so many chemical processes involved when refining crude oil and they produce such items as pharmaceuticals, solvents, fertilizers, pesticides and even plastics.
Of major importance to all industrialized nations in the world is the production of petroleum products. The world's energy consumption is huge when it comes to oil usage ranging form 32% in Europe and Asia to a high of 53% in the Middle East. South, Central and North America aren't far behind with an average use of about 41%. The latest estimates show that over 30 billion barrels of oil are used per year. At present it also means that developed countries are the biggest consumers. If you add up production, distribution, refining and retailing the petroleum industry becomes one of the world's largest industries in terms of finances.
Petroleum consisting of a complex mix of hydrocarbons is a natural liquid found in rock formations. It is formed from fossilized remains of long dead plants and animals that after being exposed to extreme temperatures and then embedded under leafs, soil and other debris and pressurized by the earth's crust over hundreds of million years became what we know as oil.
Today the American Petroleum Institute uses five divisions to describe the petroleum industry which include: upstream (development, exploration and production), downstream (oil tankers, refineries, retailers and consumers), pipelines, marine and service and supply.
As petroleum is considered to be a non-renewable natural resource the industry is one that if it keeps going at the rate it has eventually will deplete the world's oil supply. This is frightening as estimates show that reserves in the Middle East may be enough to last 80 years, in Latin America 41 years and in the United States only 12 years, world wide this equates to the world's supply being depleted in about 40 years. The realization that we are losing this resource has made the search for other alternate fuel and energy sources so vital.
Oil rigs are in constant need of welders. Drilling operations are tough on mechanical equipment and breakdowns are usually a daily occurrence. It is the welder's job to see to the day-to-day maintenance of welding broken machinery back together. Scaffolding and derricks continually need to be repaired. Plus, what the...