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What Is Oil?

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Oil is the remains of ancient plants and animals, compressed deep in the earth into liquid strings of hydrogen and carbon. Ancient Greeks gave it the name petroleum, from the Greek "petra" meaning rock, and "oleum" meaning oil.















The modern history of oil began in the 1840s, when a Canadian geologist discovered that crude oil could be distilled into kerosene to light lanterns but the heating oil industry truly began when the oil burner was invented to take advantage of crude oil discoveries in California.

How Oil Heats A Home
Oil makes a long journey from deep in the earth to the tank in your home. It begins when crude oil is turned into a series of products, including gasoline, jet fuel, and heating oil. Oil is extremely stable, and must be heated above 140 degrees before it will begin to burn. Inside your furnace or boiler, your oil burns extremely hot – 400 degrees hotter than natural gas or propane – and is extremely efficient in heating your home!

The Oil Industry Today
More than 3/4 of oil in the U.S. now comes from outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and our supplies often arrive from Canada, Mexico or Venezuela. It's because of these extensive resources, matched with our history as a trusted, local home heating oil provider, that we've never run out of oil.

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Click on the links below to find additional insights and information:

What is oil? ›

The facts about oil vs. gas heating ›

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