Downstream (oil industry)


Downstream (oil industry)

The petroleum industry is usually divided into three major components: Upstream, midstream and downstream. Midstream operations are usually included in the downstream category.

The downstream oil sector is a term commonly used to refer to the refining of crude oil, and the selling and distribution of natural gas and products derived from crude oil. Such products include liquified petroleum gas (LPG), gasoline or petrol, jet fuel, diesel oil, other fuel oils, asphalt and petroleum coke.

The downstream sector includes oil refineries [cite book|author=Gary, J.H. and Handwerk, G.E.|title=Petroleum Refining Technology and Economics|edition=2nd Edition|publisher=Marcel Dekker, Inc|year=1984|id=ISBN 0-8247-7150-8] , petrochemical plants, petroleum product distribution, retail outlets and natural gas distribution companies. The downstream industry touches consumers through thousands of products such as gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, heating oil, asphalt, lubricants, synthetic rubber, plastics, fertilizers, antifreeze, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, natural gas and propane.

Byproduct sulfur

Crude oil is a mixture of hundreds of hydrocarbons, including many which contain sulfur. Refining the crude oil includes converting most of that sulfur into gaseous hydrogen sulfide. Raw natural gas also contains gaseous hydrogen sulfide and sulfur-containing mercaptans, which are removed in natural gas processing plants before the gas is distributed to consumers. The hydrogen sulfide removed in the refining and processing of crude oil and natural gas is subsequently converted into byproduct elemental sulfur. In fact, the vast majority of the 64,000,000 metric tons of sulfur produced worldwide in 2005 was byproduct sulfur from refineries and natural gas processing plants. [ [http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/sulfur/sulfumcs06.pdf Sulfur production report] by the United States Geological Survey] [ [http://www.agiweb.org/geotimes/july03/resources.html Discussion of recovered byproduct sulfur] ]

ee also

*Oil well
*Gas field
*Natural gas condensate
*Oil refinery
*Upstream (oil industry)

References


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