Oil & gas
The oil & gas industry includes the global processes of exploration, extraction, refining, transporting (often by oil tankers and pipelines), and marketing petroleum products. The largest volume products of the industry are fuel oil and gasoline (petrol). Petroleum (oil) is also the raw material for many chemical products, including pharmaceuticals, solvents, fertilizers, pesticides, and plastics.
Petroleum is vital to many industries, and is of importance to the maintenance of industrial civilization in its current configuration, and thus is a critical concern for many nations. Oil accounts for a large percentage of the world’s energy consumption, ranging from a low of 32% for Europe and Asia, to a high of 53% for the Middle East. Petroleum can be found onshore and offshore.
The upstream oil sector is also commonly known as the exploration and production (E&P) sector. The upstream sector includes the searching for potential underground or underwater crude oil and natural gas fields, drilling of exploratory wells, and subsequently drilling and operating the wells that recover and bring the crude oil and/or raw natural gas to the surface. There has been a significant shift toward including unconventional gas as a part of the upstream sector.
The extraction of petroleum is the process by which usable petroleum is extracted and removed from the earth. Geologists use seismic surveys to search for geological structures that may form oil reservoirs. The “classic” method includes making an underground explosion nearby and observing the seismic response that provides information about the geological structures under the ground. However, “passive” methods that extract information from naturally-occurring seismic waves are also known.
Midstream operations are sometimes classified within the downstream sector, but these operations compose a separate and discrete sector of the petroleum industry. Midstream operations and processes include the following:
· Technological applications
The downstream sector commonly refers to the refining of petroleum crude oil and the processing and purifying of raw natural gas, as well as the marketing and distribution of products derived from crude oil and natural gas. The downstream sector touches consumers through products such as gasoline or petrol, kerosene, jet fuel, diesel oil, heating oil, fuel oils, lubricants, waxes, asphalt, natural gas as hundreds of petrochemicals.
An oil refinery or petroleum refinery is an industrial process plant where crude oil is processed and refined into more useful products such as petroleum naphtha, gasoline, diesel fuel, and asphalt base, heating oil, kerosene and liquefied petroleum gas. Oil refineries are typically large, sprawling industrial complexes with extensive piping running throughout, carrying streams of fluids between large chemical processing units.
In many ways, oil refineries use much of the technology of, and can be thought of, as types of chemical plants. There is usually an oil depot (tank farm) at or near an oil refinery for the storage of incoming crude oil feedstock as well as bulk liquid products. Main products obtained in a Refinery are:
· Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)
· Gasoline (also known as petrol)
· Kerosene and related jet aircraft fuels
· Diesel fuel
· Fuel oils
· Lubricating oils
· Paraffin wax and asphalt