Even as the global community is coming to grips with the ravages of climate change and the recognition that burning fossil fuels is the primary cause of the problem, gas and oil remain arguably the most important commodities in the world.

Investors remind us that the gas and oil sector comprise a significant portion of the global economy. That will continue to be the case even as the international business community is under increased pressure to adopt a net-zero carbon emission policy by the year 2050.

How to achieve a carbon-neutral economy while investment in gas and oil continues to rise remains a point of serious contention and debate. Consider that forecasts call for crude oil production by OPEC to rise to 34.15 million in 2022. That will be up from 32.11 million in 2021.

Total revenues for the oil and gas drilling industry amounted to $2.1 trillion in 2021. This figure includes an array of diverse companies that explore, drill, develop and operate fossil fuel fields.

They create 9.8 million jobs globally. That includes 5.6% of all jobs in the United States. This, in itself, is an important reason to keep an eye on what is happening in the gas and oil sector.

Three nations vie for the top spot as the largest producers of gas and oil. They are the United States, Saudi Arabia and Russia. As of 2020, these three nations were cranking out about 40 million barrels of oil a day. That’s more than 40% of all world production. Canada and China are also major players in the oil production realm, as are Venezuela and other Latin American nations. Mexico is determined to become a major player in the coming years.

It is important to note that the gas and oil industry is broken down into three key components. These are “upstream,” “midstream” and “downstream.”

The first refers to the exploration end of the business, including looking for oil and drilling for it. Midstream activity refers to the transportation and storage of gas and oil products. The downstream segment is the refining and marketing part of the process.

Experts say that the upstream segment is the most crucial. Without the exploration and discovery of new oil and gas resources, the midstream and downstream aspects would not exist.