Archive for the ‘Oil Industry’ Category.

Thursday 29 October, 2015

How Shale Oil Affects Heating Oil Prices

Shale sampleThe price of a barrel of oil has become a thing of scrutiny ever since our attention was turned to the Middle East decades ago.  The need to be less dependent on foreign oil has caused innovators to find ways to better meet our own fuel demands.  As opposed to conventional oil, shale oil is capitalizing on technological advances in the way we harvest and process oil.  That is good news for the long foreseeable future.

What is Shale Oil?

Unlike rigs that drill for the bubbling crude, shale oil is a rock.  It is harvested and processed differently.  As you may have been able to deduce by lower gas prices this year, it is a more economically sustainable method.  As the price of a barrel of oil decreases, that price cut is noticed in all forms of refinery, including your heating oil.  And with the largest shale deposits in the world located in the central-west region of our nation, there is no shortage of supply.  According to most experts (even given the unpredictable volatile political climate), prices will continue to drop or remain stable with known deposits to sustain us for around 400 years.

How is Shale Oil Harvested?

It is commonly referred to as “the rock that burns”.  It takes an enormous amount of heat and pressure to keep oil in a liquid form.  It must be mined from the earth using a simple yet sophisticated system and then heated through a process called retorting.  There are other methods currently being looked into that would heat the shale before it is mined from the earth.   Once the shale oil is in liquid form, it can then go through the refining process just like all other oil that is drilled.

Shale 2.0

Our nation is on the cusp of revolutionizing the shale oil industry.  Technological advances and highly motivated entrepreneurs have not given up on the potential this black gold mine has.  The geo-political climate is being heated as the barrel tries not to drop too much.  But lowered fuel costs after being too high for too long will naturally take time to settle back into as the shock of $20/barrel wears off.

The surplus of oil in our nation right now is the highest it has been in many years.  This has allowed a surplus of new technology to develop and big data projects with extraordinary software that has left the market in an upheaval with many changes to come, including more affordable heating oil.

 
 

Thursday 05 December, 2013

Oil Processing

Industry“Drill baby drill,” one of the catchiest phrases to come out of the 2008 presidential election. No matter what your stance is on drilling, we all know our home heating oil originates from crude oil extracted from the earth. The final product however is far from the stuff first taken out of the ground; so how does it get that way? What processes does it go through from the ground in order to reach your home? Here is a quick look at what happens to your heating oil before it ready to distribute around the country.

Once it has been extracted from the ground, crude oil is sent to a petroleum refinery. These refineries are expansive campuses filled with an assortment of various processing units and other buildings such as storage tanks. It is impossible to pinpoint the exact processes that result in crude oil morphing to heating oil as all refineries operate a little differently, but there is still a general recipe each follows. Incredibly, the average refinery produces anywhere from 800,000 to 900,00 barrels of refined crude oil a day!

The main processes to take place in most refineries is in the crude oil distillation unit (CDU).The first step within the CDU is fractional distillation which facilitates the breaking down of the crude into various components or fractions. This is done by submitting the oil to varying boiling temperature ranges which breaks the crude into different hydrocarbon chains. There are four types of distillates produced that fall into four different categories: light distillates, middle distillates, heavy distillates, and other. Heating oil falls into the middle distillate category along with automotive, rail-road diesel, and other light fuels.

From here, the next step may possibly be chemical processing. This process takes some of the fractions and combines them with others. This is called conversion. The fractions then need to be treated to remove impurities. Achieved through a variety of processes beginning with a sulfuric acid treatment in a column, onto an absorption column to remove water, and completed with another sulfur treatment and scrubbers of hydrogen-sulfide to remove the leftover sulfur.  Finally, depending on the intended outcome, some fractions are again remixed to produce the final product.

So the next time you go to adjust your thermostat, take a quick second to think of all that needed to occur in order for the oil to be ready before it arrived to heat your home. It is truly amazing to think about!

 
 

Tuesday 03 December, 2013

Oil Production

oil rig with pipesI think if the typical American citizen was asked which country is responsible for producing the largest amount of oil in the world, the most typical answer would probably be somewhere from halfway around the world.  These folks might be surprised to find out that United States is in fact surpassing Russia and all middle eastern countries as the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas. In fact, the US is producing approximately 22 million barrels of oil every day to Russia’s 21.8 million.

As a result of its increased oil production, the US has cut natural gas imports by almost one-third and crude oil by fifteen percent, all within the last five years. If this trend continues it could mean a decrease or even the end of the US’s reliance on foreign oil. This would be the realization of a goal America has been working towards since the early 1970’s.

If this new reality seems surprising, it is. For two decades American oil production had been on a steady decrease. Where did this new surge of production come from? In one controversial word, fracking, formally known as hydraulic fracturing. Fracking is the process of pumping water and various chemicals into the ground in order to break up the shale rock and releasing any oil or gas trapped beneath. While hydraulic fracturing remains a hot topic across the country, there is no denying that it is a productive technique. It is being predicted that the US’s oil productivity will continue to increase and the cutting all foreign oil imports (other than from Canada) into the country may also become a reality by the end of the decade. This would mean immense economical and political gains for the US.

Although not widely publicized, Americans are actually already feeling the positive effects of the US production increase. Employment in the american oil industry has increased by forty percent over the last five years, adding over 160,000 jobs. In addition, the increase in production has helped to keep gas prices from increasing even more than they have over the past few years. International relations have also become more malleable with the US convincing Europe that sanctions against Iran would not increase worldwide oil prices or cause a shortage. These sanctions are one reason why Iran has been more open to talking about its nuclear program recently, hopefully making the world a safer place. With environmental concerns aside, the United States’ growing profile in the output of oil will mean great things for our country!

 
 

Monday 04 November, 2013

Petroleum Products

overall view of oil and gas installationAt Sterling Oil Company we offer a number of different petroleum products such as kerosene, fuel oil, and various levels of gasoline. You hear of these products quite often in daily life but do you really know what they are? Here is a quick look at each of the petroleum types carried by Sterling Oil.

Probably the most commonly known petroleum product is home heating oil otherwise known as #2 Fuel Oil. The number ‘2’ is actually a class of oil rated by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) classification system. It is delivered in a low viscosity liquid (meaning it is not too thick) state and is used widely throughout the United States at just under 7 million households.

Sterling Oil also carries ‘Low Sulfur (LS)’, a cleaner alternative to #2 Fuel Oil. LS is marketed as such because its sulfur content, is at the most, 15 parts per million.  To obtain this lower sulfur standard additional steps are taken during the refining process. It is a big step in the effort to lower emissions and become more environmentally friendly.

Kerosene is probably one of the more versatile petroleum products but is generally associated with lighting (such as kerosene lamps), cooking, and heating. Did you know it is also used as jet fuel and as an ingredient in insecticides? Like #2 Fuel Oil, kerosene has a low viscosity and is derived through the distilling of petroleum. It was the first to be extracted for large commercial purposes in the mid 1800’s.

In addition to all the products above, we also carry three grades of gasoline – regular, midgrade, and premium. The difference in the grade is based on the octane rating of the three. The higher the octane content, the higher the grade. Gasoline with a higher rating is less likely to self-ignite and will burn more evenly. When you are at the gas pump, the gasoline rating of 87, 89, or 91 (sometimes 93) correlates to their level of octane.

Various fuels have been distilled from petroleum for over 2000 years, first discovered by Arabian scientists. Petroleum products are, in short, very complex mixtures. In fact, there are many products we come across in our everyday lives that we do not realize are derived from petroleum, such as linoleum, perfumes, soap, and even vitamin capsules. Sterling Oil is proud of the petroleum products we carry and are proud to be serving the beautiful city of Lynchburg.

 
 

Monday 24 June, 2013

Our Very Own Inducted into Worldwide Who’s Who

Donna Beeler Hensley Inducted into Worldwide Who’s Who for Excellence in Business Management

Mrs. Beeler Hensley’s family business, Sterling Oil, is celebrating its 30th year of business

LYNCHBURG, VA, June 24, 2013 Donna Beeler Hensley, Vice President of Sterling Oil, has been recognized by Worldwide Who’s Who for showing dedication, leadership and excellence in business management.

A seasoned industry expert, Mrs. Beeler Hensley has 17 years of professional experience, with 12 years as a vice president of Sterling Oil. As a customer service expert, she is responsible for overseeing business operations and the service segment for the HVAC with her brother, Michael Beeler. This involves ordering and pricing fuel, acquiring the best inventory on the market, assisting with dispatched service calls, and ensuring that her staff is trained, knowledgeable and remains current with all customer needs. In addition, Mrs. Hensley is involved with sales and installation of new customer equipment, fuel lines, repairs to existing equipment, and all facets of the statewide oil business efforts. Mrs. Hensley also organized the company’s participation in disaster relief efforts during Hurricane Sandy and Winter Storm Nemo along the entire east coast of the United States.

Mrs. Beeler Hensley is 45 years old, and she works with her father, H. Wayne Beeler, who owns Sterling Oil. They are celebrating 30 years of business this year. She attributes her success to her pride in the work she does and in the company, as well as her father, who is her hero, and who she greatly respects. She became involved in her profession because Sterling Oil is her family’s business, which she grew up admiring the tremendous work ethic of her parents. She was in the car business in her early 20s, and was responsible for inventory and ordering cars. After her father underwent open heart surgery, she stepped in to help with the business because she felt a sense of responsibility. With the guidance of her father, participation from her brother, and Mrs. Beeler Hensley’s unparalleled customer service, Sterling Oil Company has grown and flourished under this leadership.

Mrs. Beeler Hensley’s Company is a member of the Virginia Jobbers Association and she is always interested in the future energy needs, Mrs. Hensley is also an Associate for Viridian Energy which was founded in 2009 and is a rapidly growing energy company. They provide an alternate energy supply option to the local utility. When Mrs. Hensley is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her wonderful husband and three beautiful children. Mrs. Hensley prepares food for the neighborhood church to feed the community. She spearheads the community coat/teddy bear drives each year for the less fortunate. Family’s in her area who find themselves in an economic hardship often turn to Mrs. Beeler Hensley’s compassionate efforts, as the hundreds of customer thank you letters attest. Mrs. Beeler

Hensley confirms that her altruist heart is directly from her personal relationship of faith. An active church member, she is often called on to help others and responds happily. In years to come, Mrs. Beeler Hensley hopes for continued professional growth and development.

Sterling Oil is an area leader which provides heating and cooling solutions to residential and commercial customers. They supply a large portion of their area with heating oil, kerosene, diesel fuel, and gasoline. Also they provide fuel for commercial generators for existing businesses. Often they provide diesel fuel service to incoming vendors to the city for large construction efforts. They install new heat pumps, furnaces, air conditioning systems, and all ancillary associated products. For more information about about Sterling Oil visit www.sterlingoil.com and for information about Viridian Energy visit www.viridian.com/donnahensley Associate Number: 18575

 

 
 

Wednesday 19 June, 2013

Celebrating 30 Years of Business

H.Wayne Beeler started Sterling Oil Company, Inc in 1983

 

Our Company is a Family Owned Business and We take Great Pride in giving Fast and Dependable Service to Our Valued Customers here in the Greater Lynchburg Area and Surrounding Counties.

 

Our Company also has a Service Department We Install a Full Line of Heating and Cooling Equipment which included Heatpumps as well.

 

So Give Our Company a call at 434-845-0971 and we will be Happy to Serve You

Follow Us on Facebook and Twitter

And Tell Your Friends about Us…

 
 

Tuesday 08 January, 2013

Heating Oil Clean & Reliable

Oil is also a clean heat that creates no soot, dirt or odors in a properly maintained system. Heating oil has little negative impact on the environment and for every gallon of oil burned, 140,000 BTUs of heat are generated.

Heating oil is a clean, reliable and efficient way for homeowners to keep warm and comfortable all year long.

 

 
 

Tuesday 23 October, 2012

Oilheat Fact

Oilheat Fact

 

A tune-up will benefit your heating system by helping to find problems before they become  expensive, inconvenient repairs.

 
 

Tuesday 23 October, 2012

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a K-Factor?

A K-factor reflects your individual rate of usage based on how cold it is. K-factor is determined by dividing the number of degree days by gallons delivered. The higher the K-factor the more efficient your heating system. This is similar to tracking your car’s miles per gallon.

 

What is a Degree Day?

Degree Days are a unit for estimating the demand for energy required for heating and cooling. Starting from the standard US indoor temperature of 65 degrees, a heating or cooling degree day is recorded every 1° decrease or increase from this standard.

 

What does Degree Day monitoring mean to me?

Think of it like the MPG (miles per gallon) calculations used for your car. Like MPG, Degree Day monitoring helps determine a particular rate of usage. Our Company tracks the number of accumulating degree days throughout the season and uses this formula based on your usage to determine when you will need another delivery.

 

Why are annual equipment tune-ups so important?

Annual tune-ups on your heating system will reduce the chance of breakdowns, keep your system running at peak efficiency and will save you money on your fuel bill.

 

 
 

Friday 19 October, 2012

Women In The Oil Business

Women in the Oil Business

Women in the Oil Business

Women in the Industry
Over the years while working in many phases of this industry, I have come to realize that one of the most often overlooked groups of people in our industry is the women who work for our companies. Many of these same women seldom or never make it into the lime light for the contributions they have made to keep our industry both whole and profitable.

             One of these women works in the manufacturing and marketing side of the heating industry and when it comes to knowing her company’s products, whether it’s a furnace or boiler, she is on her game at all levels. In 2009, I had the distinct honor to present her with then NAOHSM Associate of the Year award (now Oil and Energy Service Professionals) for both her compassion and the many years of dedication to both this industry and a company. A true icon!

            Most of the time I do not mention names, but I’m going to make an exception to my own rule. Julie, as she is known, doesn’t just work for a family oil company that was established in 1898 and located in Rhode Island; she is a vital link to its success. She arrived at this company out of high school and has been a faithful part of its success for several years. Julie always displays a take charge attitude and can make correct decisions on her own, weather it be service related, billing, budgets, or those ever nagging “What’s the price of oil?” calls.

            Some I have witnessed during my business calls to this company and when you talk to the owner the company, you soon learn that Julie is recognized as one of the family and the life blood of the business’s success. Then there is Alice the co-owner and president of a family owned and operated supply company. Alicecould well retire, but due to her dedication to her customers, she can be found daily at the counter greeting and serving their needs. Over the years Alice has gained a wealth of product knowledge and can assist in solving many trade related issues.

Take a moment after reading this article and reflect on a woman or women in your own company. Are they the ones that seldom receive any gratitude for what they do on a daily basis? Let’s not forget that many of these same women are wives and mothers at the end of the day! I would also call them company defenders. Why? Because they get to address every issue from the customer’s viewpoint and shield others from an often stressful and challenging situation, while maintaining the integrity of management and ownership.

             Women rarely get to leave the office (except for lunch) unlike most of the owners and managers and are generally the last to know when it comes to a policy change. Sound familiar?

            I recently had a credit card issue that involved over a thousand dollars in non-authorized charges that were applied to my company credit card. It too was processed and corrected by a woman from my own company. It’s been said that behind every good man is a woman. So to that end I agree and will close by saying hats off to all the women in the industry—let’s show our appreciation when they least expect it.

 

 
 
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