Community
Barbie can thank the oil and gas industry for her global success

Barbie can thank the oil and gas industry for her global success

From fueling her bright pink Chevrolet Corvette to creating the pink latex paint that colors her magical world, the smash-hit Barbie movie is serving as a reminder about the global importance of the oil and gas industry.

As folks in the Permian Basin know more than anyone, petroleum products do far more than fuel our cars and homes. They also make the feedstocks used to manufacture chemicals, synthetic rubbers and plastics that are in nearly everything we use, from critical medical products to toys like Barbie.

Barbie wasn’t actually born in Malibu. Her story begins with a barrel of oil that is refined into ethylene, which is then used to produce the vinyl plastic pellets that become Barbie’s body, says economist Justin Wolfers, professor at the University of Michigan, in a report on economic supply chains.

Wolfers adds that Barbie’s hair is made of Nylon, a petroleum polymer, and that large factories in Asia help assemble her parts before she is packaged and shipped to over 100 countries (again, thanks to products provided by the oil and gas industry).

The pink-laden set for the Barbie movie also relied upon petroleum products. According to the organization Flipping the Barrel, “The production of pink latex paint involves using petroleum-derived raw materials to create the pigments and additives that give the paint its signature hue and quality (full post here).”

Oh and about Barbie’s pink Chevrolet Corvette — you might see more of those pull up to a gas station near you. After the release of the Barbie movie trailer, online automobile marketplaces reported seeing searches for that Corvette model more than double, states the Robb Report.

Whether it is Barbie’s world or the real world, the oil and gas industry provides the building blocks for the critical energy and products that increase quality of life around the world. Given that the Permian Basin is a world leader in the industry, it should suffice to say that you, too, are living in a Barbie world.