The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Did You Know? Technological Leaders

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted October 8, 2009

You probably know that the oil and natural gas industry is one of the world's largest industries and that its revenues are significant. But did you know that the costs of providing consumers with the energy they need are massive as well?

Revenues allow companies to reinvest in facilities and infrastructure, and keep them on the cutting edge of developing innovative technologies that find energy resources our nation needs, refine them into products we use every day, and deliver them to households and businesses--all while becoming more efficient and reducing environmental impact.

One example of advanced technology and increased efficiency at work in refinery operations is co-generation, a process that captures waste heat and uses it to produce electricity. This process can minimize the refineries' need to purchase power and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The oil and natural gas industry has invested heavily in cogeneration as well as other technologies and efficiencies. For example, the industry has invested $175 billion since 1990 toward improving the environmental performance of its products, facilities and operations--$582 for every man, woman and child in the United States. And between 2000 and 2008, the industry invested more than $58 billion in new low- and zero-emissions technologies. This represents 44 percent of the $133 billion spent by all U.S. industries and the government combined.

Also through the industry's technology, U.S. oil and natural gas operators are converting previously uneconomic oil and natural gas resources into proven reserves and production that our nation will need to meet future energy demand.

Read more about oil and natural gas industry technology at work.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.