The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Live Science: 7 Surprising Uses of Oil

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted March 3, 2010

There's no doubt that consumers rely on oil and natural gas to enhance their quality of life. The cars we drive, the food we eat, the medicines we need--each is touched by America's oil and natural gas industry.

In a new Live Science article, Jeremy Hsu lists a few petroleum-derived items found in and around the home that might surprise you. They include gum, cosmetics, solar panels and aspirin, among others.

For example, on aspirin, the article says:

"Aspirin has proven itself one of the safest and most reliable medications over the past decades. People swallow billions of tablets per year for headaches, fever and as a preventative against heart conditions or stroke... most aspirin manufacturing begins with benzene, a hydrocarbon that is typically derived from petroleum products."

For more information, read the full Live Science article for the 6 other surprising, petroleum-derived products. Also, check out the fact sheet below for additional information about items derived from oil.

We invite you to comment on this post and let us know which oil-based product you were most surprised to learn about.


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.