Every year during this time, I like to thank the people of Oklahoma Oil & Natural Gas for producing resources that provide a better quality of life around the world.
Each barrel of oil creates more than the gas that powers our cars – it also gives us other by-products that affect us more profoundly. In fact, over 96% of all manufactured products contain petroleum and natural gas byproducts, enabling breakthroughs in technology and healthcare.
Ethylene, a by-product of petroleum and natural gas, is used to make a wide variety of consumer products. Its versatility makes it essential for everyday food supplies and household items including cables, toothbrushes and athletic shoes. Nomex, Kevlar, and Nylon, which are also made from petroleum derivatives, are used to make life protection gear for firefighters, law enforcement and the military.
In healthcare, these byproducts have a huge effect on saving and improving lives. Petroleum and natural gas by-products are essential components of prostheses and cochlear implants, dramatically increasing the quality of life for millions of people. They help save the lives of heart patients who need artificial valves or pacemakers, and provide IVs and syringes needed for critical surgeries and medications.
Petroleum by-products are also essential to the technology that advances our world, including our computers and phones. Interestingly, electric cars are also made possible by the petroleum byproducts that create hundreds of their parts.
The people of Oklahoma Oil & Natural Gas, your friends and neighbors, produce the resources that make it all possible. Items created from our state’s resources are pillars of today’s standard of living and contribute to vital innovations in health care and public safety.
I am grateful to the men and women of Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry and the resources they produce that strengthen our lives and move our nation forward.
Mindy Stitt is executive director of the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board.