Is it true that it takes 17 million barrels of oil to make bottles for bottled water?

Here’s what the International Bottled Water Association has to say:

This is an interesting non-verifiable statement typically attributed to researchers at the University of Louisville. Except, according to the school, they have never even heard about it. Our source is University’s Director of Media Relations Mark Hebert, who had this to say:

“We don’t have anyone who ever wrote about ‘17 million barrels of oil used to make PET water bottles.’ We have no idea where the ‘University of Louisville researchers’ has come from. We’ve asked all our environmental guys, our researchers in the engineering school and nobody has touched that one. The only thing, the closest that we can come, is there was a student last who was trying to get folks on campus to quit using bottled water, but she didn’t have anything like that in her literature that even came close to that statement. So we don’t have clue where it came from, and if you find out, please let us know.”