In the early to mid 1800’s, Hawaii was in the forefront of American Oil production, of course, that was whale oil. Since 1859, though, Hawaii has been on the consumption as opposed to production side of oil. If you are a fan of Magnum P.I or Hawaii 50, you know that they do use petroleum products there, but they are mostly imported. Hawaii, today relies on imported petroleum that enters via its two oil refineries on Oahu. The petroleum is distributed to its petroleum power plants by sea and road, as no pipeline system exists on the Islands. There are no schools that specialize in petroleum on the Islands, which is still depends on agriculture and tourism, so training is done in house.
Aloha Petroleum would be an example of the industry. The company dates back to 1900 and gets much of its oil and gas from refineries elsewhere, although small refineries do exist on the Islands. Not an imposing company, it has 360 employees, fewer than some hotels, and has 70 fueling stations. It is a going and growing concern, but Hawaii is not a major oil or gas producer. It gets an increasing amount of its power from sugar cane, wind and solar and hydroelectric sources. Hawaii leads the nation in getting power from alternative sources. The push for alternatives is because of the sheer expense of getting petroleum products to the Islands. That being said, 75% of Hawaii’s electricity still comes from petroleum sources and costs 3 times what it does on the mainland.. A good source of comparative information is the government’s own website.
Hawaii is not part of the gas and oil boom being experienced in the U.S.A, but there are still jobs available in the industry. It is an integral part of Hawaii today. There are six engineering schools in Hawaii, in various courses of agricultural, civil, electrical or mechanical engineering. These are related to Hawaii petroleum engineering programs. Schools of merit include University of Hawaii Maui College, University of Hawaii Maui College, and Kauai Community College, among others.