With the world oil crisis seeing peak oil having being passed, less and less barrels of oil are being extracted from the ground.
"This has hit our business hard," said David Cooper, of Cooper's Polyurethane Barrels in Nantwich. "We have seen a drop in orders for barrels from the oil industry."
In order to save their lucrative business, Cooper is looking for alternate markets for barrels.
"There's a rising need for barrels on Waterfall Tours," he said. "However, they only need a few hundred a year, so this is never going to replace the millions of barrels that the oil industry have needed in the past."
An attempt to replicate the success of the children's toy stacking cups that recently swept the country was unsuccessful, with the barrels Cooper produces deemed to large to be handled by small children, and with a tendency to collapse, crushing the child playing with them.
"We've sold a few to play grounds, though," Cooper noted. "Mainly because we cut the bottoms off and used them as tunnel components."
With a distinct lack of alternate markets, Cooper is worried for the future.
"We tried to get into the beer market," he said. "However, the cask industry has that pretty much sewn up."
Barrel manufacturers across the world are facing similar problems, with the oil industry having them over a barrel, so to speak.
"Our best hope is that we can sell a large number to the nascent raft building industry," Cooper said. "Sadly, I don't think the demand is there."
Cooper has turned to Facebook in a hope that the population on there can come up with some large scale innovative use for barrels.
"Otherwise," he said, sadly, "I fear for our industry. We may have to close our doors."