The chances are, whether you know it or not, you’ve used oil in your daily life, it’s almost impossible not to! If you don’t drive or use any form of public transport, then you might be scratching your head as to what we’re talking about, but the reality is that a huge number of products we all use, day to day, have used petroleum in one form or another. The team here at TriStone Holdings Ltd, one of the UK’s foremost young oil investment companies, wanted to explore some of the most common products that make use of petroleum – and some of the most surprising!
1. Petroleum Jelly
We thought we might as well start with an obvious one, given that the clue’s in the name… Funnily, though, many people don’t make the link between petroleum jelly and the fuel resource from which it stems. Why does petroleum jelly work? It has hydrophobic (literally, “water-fearing”) qualities which help form a protective barrier, enabling skin to heal and better retain its moisture.
Clothes? Made from… oil? Ok, so there may be a few steps in between but there’s a good chance that the t-shirt you’re wearing today had its origins in the ground of the Permian Basin, in the USA! Most synthetic fibres (materials like polyester, for instance) are made from crude oil derivatives. Given that, in 2016 at least, 65% of fibres used within the fashion industry were synthetic, crude oil has its part to play in people looking good!
This one seems particularly appropriate given the time of year we’re now entering. There’s a Danish concept known as Hygge (it’s become all the rage over the past few years) and it revolves, essentially, around the idea of cosiness. Their number one tip to boost levels of Hygge? Candles – and a lot of them. Paraffin wax is a by-product of the oil purification process and has traditionally been used in the candle making process.
With all the working-from-home this year, you might not have used as much Tupperware as normal, but if there’s one thing people can all relate to when it comes to office culture, it’s an office fridge full of pasta salads, leftover curries and soups packed neatly on top of one another in clear, plastic boxes. Tupperware is made from PP (polypropylene) which itself is derived from petroleum hydrocarbons!
When you’ve got a debilitating migraine, the last thing you want to be thinking about is where your aspirin comes from. But it’s true that one of the more unusual products to stem from petroleum is this universally used medication! To make aspirin, you first need a chemical called benzene. Benzene is one of the world’s most widely used chemicals. Its source? The distillation and refining of petroleum!
‘Vulcanised rubber’ sounds more like a group of school kids’ first attempt at a band name than it does something that goes into over a billion tyres, every year, but it does exactly that! The vulcanisation part refers simply to a hardening of the rubber (usually with sulphur) and the rubber, itself? Well, if it’s synthetic rubber (which many modern tyres now are) then it started out as crude oil.
Vinyl LPs have seen a resurgence in popularity over recent years, and with good reason! There’s something incomparable about listening to a crackling record play out from its turntable. Having originally been made from a material called shellac, the transition to vinyl came about in the mid-1940s as a result of its greater quality. Vinyl, or to give it its full name, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is formed from a process involving both crude oil and salt.
Though only a relatively small component, it’s still funny to think that our minty morning freshness could come from such sticky, black beginnings! The colourant Brilliant Blue FCF, for instance, otherwise known as Blue 1, is just one of several synthetic dyes used within toothpaste and other food stuffs, its origins going back all the way to petroleum!
9. Camping Stove Fuel
If you’re anything like me, many of your holidays growing up were spent in a wet field in either Devon, Dorset or the Lake District huddled in the pouring rain around a small camping stove. There’s something very nostalgic about these little stoves, and the fuel they use is either white gas or kerosene – both of which are petroleum derivatives.
You didn’t think we’d finish this list without including petrol, did you? The main thing substance people think of when they think of petroleum, petrol has helped drive the world for the past century. Whilst the transition towards more sustainable alternatives is well underway, petrol still certainly has its part to play.
Contact TriStone Holdings Ltd
If this list has done anything, we hope it’s shown you the sheer versatility of crude oil as a resource! So, if you’d like to find out more about our services as an oil investment company, just get in touch! Contact TriStone Holdings Ltd today on 0800 055 7079 or by emailing us at [email protected]