Oil patch – definition and meaning

An oil patch may mean an oil-producing region, such as Texas, the Gulf of Mexico, or Oklahoma. It may also mean a place where large quantities of hydrocarbons are ready to exploit and extract. In other words, an area with great oil or gas producing potential.

Originally, oil patch just referred to either oil-producing regions or regions with oil-producing potential in the US. However, today people use the term in Canada, the Middle East, and other parts of the world. Even so, the term is much less common outside the US than inside.

In fact, some oil industry Americans say the term is specific and refers to just a region of the US.

YourDictionary.com says that the ‘oil patch states’ refers to a region in the US. It includes Louisiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Even though Alaska is a major oil-producing region, geographically it is not in the region.

Regarding the term, Petropedia writes:

“In the United States, some of the areas that produce large amounts of hydrocarbons falls under oil zone, and thus we can call them oil patch regions.”

“Some of the regions where large amount of hydrocarbons are produced in the United States are Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, etc.”

Oil patch states - map
The oil patch states are the US states that produce oil and gas and have large deposits. Fracking (shale oil) has brought new states onto the scene.

It is also an informal term, like the ‘oil economy,’ for the oil industry.

We sometimes refer to an oil slick on the sea or any area of water as an oil patch. We would also use the term when referring to a patch of oil on any surface, such as the floor.

The Oil Patch Group

The Oil Patch Group is a family of four companies based in Houston, Texas. They serve the oil and gas industry. The company has locations across America and several independent operators.

It specializes in the rental of living quarters and drill pipe. However, it says it can also offer many other services.