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Oil & Natural Gas Overview


Oil and natural gas touch our lives in countless ways every day. Together, they supply more than 60 percent of our nation’s energy. They fuel our cars, heat our homes and cook our food. But did you know that oil and natural gas also help generate the electricity that powers our daily lives? Or that crude oil supplies the building blocks for everything from dent-resistant car fenders to soft drink bottles to camping equipment?

Explore this section to learn more about oil and natural gas, how they are produced and how they become the products you count on. You'll also find useful tips on how to conserve energy and use oil and natural gas products in ways that protect you, your family and our environment.

Wells to Consumer Interactive Diagram

This interactive diagram that shows the journey of oil and natural gas from Exploration and Production to the final products that benefit consumers.

Exploration and Production

Access to oil and natural gas resources is critical to supplying the energy needs of American consumers, business and homeowners.

Transporting Oil and Natural Gas

Supply and demand are rarely concentrated in the same place. Transportation therefore is vital to ensuring the reliable and affordable flow of petroleum we all count on to fuel our cars, heat our homes and improve the quality of our lives.

Fuels and Refining

America's refiners are a strategic asset for the United States, and maintaining a viable domestic refining industry is critical to the nation's economic security.

Understanding Crude Oil and Product Markets

Find out how horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have rapidly increased crude oil production in the United States and have substantially reduced U.S. dependence upon crude oil imports from overseas. 

Consumer Information

Learn more about the benefits and products that come from oil and natural gas and how they touch all our lives in amazing ways.

Industry Economics

The oil and natural gas industry is one of the world's largest industries. Its revenues are large, as are the costs of providing consumers with the energy they need.

Classroom Tools

API has outstanding online resources for educators and students that explores the topic of energy. Follow the links below to find useful educational tools.