Interesting Facts about Gasoline and Oil


You thought you knew everything about gasoline and oil? Check out these interesting and mind-blowing facts about oil and gasoline that you might not know before today:

Storage of Gasoline, Diesel, Kerosene, And Oil Combustibles

It is a standard procedure that gasoline has to be stored in red containers, diesel in yellow, kerosene in blue cans, and oil combustibles in green containers.

Until The 19th Century, People Thought That Gasoline Was A Useless Product

Gasoline was regarded as a valueless byproduct of petroleum until Karlz Benzin 1885 made his first experimental car with an internal combustion engine that burned gasoline. After this successful experiment, gasoline was in high demand in no time.

Related article: What Are the Primary Components of a Gasoline Powered Engine?

Norway Has the Most Expensive Gas Prices

Oil is expensive in Norway, having the highest prices than any country in the world but there’s a good reason for this. Despite having their oil reserves (the North Sea oil off the Norwegian Sea, for instance), the government doesn’t subsidize fuel. Instead, they use the profits to give free college education as well as to fund infrastructures across the country.

The Average Yearly Salary of An Oil Rig Worker is Just Under $100,000

That’s an excellent compensation for the oil rig workers — obviously, their job is difficult. Not only that, but it is also dangerous. In 2011, the average salary for the oil riggers was just under $100,000 – not to mention that this number is almost similar to the wages of a highly-skilled employee.

Roughly 19 Gallons of Gasoline Can Be Refined from A Barrel of Oil

As of 2017, refineries produce an average of 20 gallons of gasoline and around 11 gallons of ultra-low Sulphur distillate fuel oil from one barrel (42 gallons) of crude oil. Refined crude oil also produces other petroleum products including diesel fuel and heating oil, lubricating oils, jet fuel, waxes, petrochemical feedstocks, and asphalt.

Production of Vaseline

A chemist discovered petroleum jelly when he was visiting an oil rig where he noticed that the workers would smear the wax that built upon the rigs and drills on their wounds in order to heal them faster. He then found out how to refine this wax, and after processing, he named it as Vaseline and started selling it.

Liquid Gas Can’t Be Ignited by A Cigarette, But the Gas Fumes Can Be Ignited from A Lit Cigarette

This was figured out in an experiment in which researchers tried to ignite gasoline with a cigarette in lots of trials but always failed to do so. However, lighting gasoline is only possible if the cigarette is burning at 500F or 540F, which it doesn’t because cigarettes lack in heat sustainability. Puffed cigarette burns at 900F while its temperature between the puffs is only 400F.

Drivers in The United States Account for Around 44% Of the World’s Gasoline Consumption

It’s no surprise that the United States has the 10th largest oil reserve in the world. As of 2018, about 3.40 billion barrels of finished motor gasoline were consumed only in the US. A daily average of about 9.32 million barrels per day. The consumption of gasoline in the USA is more than any other country in the world.

In 1859, The First US Oil Well Was Dug in Titusville

The discovery of the “first” commercial oil well on August 28, 1859, in Titusville, Pennsylvania gave birth to the “Pennsylvania Oil Rush” and led to petroleum becoming a major industry.

The USA Actually Gets More of Its Oil from Canada And Mexico Than It Does from The Middle East

Many of us used to think that the oil the Americans are using mostly comes from Arab countries, but this is not true. Canada is actually the top country of the US petroleum imports in 2015. Canada is followed by Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Mexico, and Colombia.

As per U.S Energy Information Administration which states that 38% petroleum is imported from Canada, 18% from Persian Gulf countries, 11% from Saudi Arabia, and a small amount from Venezuela, Mexico, and Colombia.

Gasoline Contains Around 10% Ethanol

It’s because the US issued the Clean Air Act, which requires automobiles to use oxygenated gasoline (in some states) to minimize carbon monoxide emissions as well as reformulated gas (RFG).

A Chemical is Added in Gas to Make It Scented

As natural gas has no fragrance, gas companies use a chemical to add smell. Mercaptan is that chemical which is added as a safety precaution to help people recognize and smell the gas leakage and keep them safe in an emergency situation.

The Gasoline Explosion Due to Negligence

In the late 1940s, a worker died while cleaning machinery with gasoline. Accidentally, the gasoline was dripped onto a rat which ignited rat’s fur; it ran beneath a heater with a pilot light causing an intense explosion that killed the worker on the spot. This story of carelessness and irresponsibility is now taught in law schools.

Serious Concerns about Diesel Oil

As per WHO (World Health Organization) declaration, diesel fumes are said to cause lung cancer. According to experts, diesel fumes are known to be more carcinogenic than cigarette smoke. Workers who are heavily exposed to exhaust are more likely to be affected, particularly in poor countries.

Thomas Midgley’s idea of putting Lead in Petrol

He was a Chemist who invented CFC’s by adding lead in petrol. As per said, he is responsible for damaging the Earth’s environment than any other single organism ever. His products were banned later knowing the concerns about their impact on human health and atmosphere. High atmospheric lead levels caused severe health issues including neurological impairment.

Without Added Ethanol, A Gallon of Gasoline Produces 19.64 Pounds of Carbon Dioxide When Burned

And without ethanol, diesel will also cough up approximately 22.38 pounds of carbon dioxide when burned. Ethanol is used as a biofuel additive for gasoline and diesel.

When Ford’s Model T Was Launched, Its Gas Millage Was Around 25miles Per Gallon

This makes the Model T car more fuel-efficient than the present-day Ford Explorer SUV, which achieves only 16 miles per gallon.

Outside North America, Gasoline is Normally Referred to as “Petrol”

The word “petrol” is common in the UK, Australia, India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, and New Zealand. Some countries refer to gasoline as “benzene,” in various local spellings. Oil is also termed as “Texas Tea” and “Black Gold” in some areas.

The United Kingdom Has an Underground Aviation Fuel Pipeline

Dating back to World War II, the government permitted the aviation fuel to be delivered around the whole country without any risks to occur on roads and railways. This is the reason why the UK built underground aviation fuel pipeline.

Crude Oil Back Then

Way back into history, crude oil was used as a substance binder (a sealant) for binding materials by ancient cultures for waterproofing various surfaces.

Oil Pollution

A liter of oil can contaminate a million liters of water. It’s important to know and understand the fact that when we dispose of oil in the sink, it pollutes a million liters of recyclable water.

Essential uses of Oil and Petrochemicals

Oil is used in making medicines, cosmetics, and recreational items. Petrochemicals that are found in the oil are used to produce lots of essential items such as plastics, synthetic fibers, detergents, drugs, dyes, perfumes, fertilizers, paints etc.

Oil isn’t just a necessity but also, for some countries, a sign of power and a significant platform for building global economies. Now, you know many facts about oil and gasoline, do you want to know the real impact of oil on our society? Read this book “The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power” as it takes you to through the fascinating history of oil and its influence on Global Affairs.