Where Does Gas Come From?

Where Does Gas Come From?

Were you out and about driving this weekend… maybe dashing from store to store squeezing in all the tasks you can’t do during the week? Did you have to hit up a gas station to fill up? It’s likely if you did fill your tank, you never considered exactly where it came from. Since underground tanks don’t naturally keep full with an endless supply of fuel, it had to have come from somewhere. So, where exactly does gas come from? Gas stations such as yours, or other places that require fuel pump repair in San Antonio, Texas, receive fuel produced from all over the place.

The Start of it All

Most people are aware that gasoline comes from crude oil. But, have you ever wondered how it gets from that crude oil to the gasoline dispensed by the pumps in your forecourt? At first, crude oil wasn’t even used to power cars. When it was first refined nearly 160 years ago, consumers used it as a product in order to create kerosene to make lighting. Since there weren’t any cars buzzing around back then, the gasoline that was made ended up just being burned off by the refinery or used for gas lights.

Moving towards the 1890s, car manufacturers started to realize the value of gasoline. By 1911, gasoline began to outsell kerosene for the first time. By 1920, gas stations began opening to meet the demand of drivers sporting their new cars. Once stations became popular, fuel pump repair in San Antonio, Texas ramped up and stations turned into an everyday destination.


So, what exactly is crude oil if it’s not ready-made gasoline for our cars? It’s a fossil fuel, which as the name implies, is derived from fossils. Bacteria, algae, vegetation, and other organisms become covered by soil. Then they endure heat and pressure; eventually turning into matter that’s comprised of hydrocarbons. Ultimately, through this process, crude oil is derived.

Geologists know where to find crude oil by examining rock formations. They look for deeply buried source rock that contains hydrocarbon material among other characteristics. Once these places are found, drills are established and pumps are installed to extract the oil. This is a long way from the eventual need for gas stations in the US or fuel pump repair in San Antonio, Texas.

Where it comes from

The United States produces the most crude oil in the world. The US just gained that status in 2018 so this fact might be a surprising one. 32 US states and coastal waters extract crude oil. A whopping 71% comes from just five states –

  1. Texas (which means it's no surprise that you'll find fuel pump repair in San Antonio, Texas). It accounts for 42.7%
  2. New Mexico, weighing in at 11%
  3. North Dakota, totaling 9.6%
  4. Alaska with 3.9%
  5. Colorado is just behind Alaska with 3.5%

On top of that, 15.2% of US crude oil came from wells that are located offshore in federally administered waters within the Gulf of Mexico.

It’s not just the United States that produces crude oil. Around 100 other countries do the same. And note, this is an ever-changing list and countries slide up and down the rankings continually -

  1. The United States accounts for 14.5% (the largest producing country)
  2. Saudi Arabia with 12.1% of the total (who has 17% of the world’s crude oil reserves)
  3. Russia sits at 13.1% (competing with Saudi Arabia for the 2nd and 3rd positions)
  4. Canada sits at 5.8%
  5. Iraq rounds out the top 5 with 5.3% (but China appears on other lists)

Deriving gasoline is a complicated business boasting a rich history. It’s also an ever-evolving storyline with the entire world’s involvement. It’s not just places that include gas stations in one particular state in the US. Even if Texas tops the list of crude oil producers, and if you need fuel pump repair in San Antonio, Texas, it’s not just you… this affects every state and every country.

Exploring beyond just the very basic elements of gasoline, you open up an entire world of complex moving parts that involve NOCs, IOCs, and OPEC. These organizations dive deep into the oil industry and operate in the background, they do so without gas customers seeing much of their involvement when we’re fueling up at our local station.

So, next time you’re neck-deep in errands and your car’s running on empty, think about the complicated components required to ultimately fill your tank with refined fuel.

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PumpTex, Inc. was founded in 1997 in the back of a garage with the dream of bringing a new level of customer service to the retail petroleum service industry. Over the years, we have grown to become a valuable resource to our customers. Many consider us to be the first responders of the retail petroleum service industry!


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