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Downstream (oil industry): Wikis


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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[1], petrochemical plants, petroleum product distribution, retail outlets and natural gas distribution companies. The downstream industry touches consumers through thousands of products such as petrol, diesel, jet fuel, heating oil, asphalt, lubricants, synthetic rubber, plastics, fertilizers, antifreeze, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, natural gas and propane.

Byproduct sulphur

Crude oil is a mixture of hundreds of hydrocarbons, including many which contain sulphur. Refining the crude oil includes converting most of that sulphur into gaseous hydrogen sulphide. Raw natural gas also contains gaseous hydrogen sulphide and sulphur-containing mercaptans, which are removed in natural gas processing plants before the gas is distributed to consumers. The hydrogen sulphide 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 sulphur from refineries and natural gas processing plants.[2][3]

See also


  1. ^ Gary, J.H. and Handwerk, G.E. (1984). Petroleum Refining Technology and Economics (2nd Edition ed.). Marcel Dekker, Inc. ISBN 0-8247-7150-8.  
  2. ^ Sulphur production report by the United States Geological Survey
  3. ^ Discussion of recovered byproduct sulphur


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