Ok, we know that was probably not the answer you were expecting.
Supercomputers: All the big names in America’s fuel and petrochemical industries use them. And five of the fastest supercomputers in the world, are owned and operated by companies in these industries.
And it is true that once upon a time, guys like “Dry Hole Slick” WERE the face of the business — and the only thing on those lists above you might have found back then, was a hard hat. Maybe.
But that was then. Today, the fuel and petrochemical industries are a place where you use both your hands AND your head. Now PhDs and petaflops and polymers are as much a part of the work as pipelines and pumps and pick-ups. The STEM fields — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics — are all fields critical to the work of developing and producing modern fuels and petrochemicals (and they’re pretty important to all of us and ensuring that our nation is able to meet the challenges of the 21st century).
Bulletproof vests and helmets? A parachute that can land a spacecraft on Mars? A 3D-printed hand? They’re all made from the same materials, the right materials — advanced polymers, made from petrochemicals, made from oil and natural gas.
So Big Data and big ideas are an important part of the work in this 21st century. One thing hasn’t changed though — this is still a business which actually makes things that matter and that we use on a daily basis:
Making things like the gasoline and diesel and jet fuels that keep almost everything that moves, moving, Cars, motorcycles, buses, trucks, trains, planes and ships — almost all of them use these fuels (and lubricants produced from oil).
And making things like the petrochemicals that are the building blocks for — well, life in the 21st century: our shirts and shorts and shoes, our tablets and phones and TVs, our cars and soccer balls and tennis rackets, the equipment in the modern ER and most of what’s in our medicine cabinet, the stuff our houses and streets are made of, the suits astronauts wear in space and the prosthetic hand a little girl wears to play baseball.