Oil & Gas Value Chains
The graphic provides an overview of the Oil & Gas Value Chain.
The terms upstream, midstream and downstream are often used to refer to the major sectors or operational components of the petroleum industry.
The upstream sector involves the exploration for and extraction of petroleum crude oil and natural gas. The upstream oil sector is also known as the exploration and production (E&P) sector. The upstream sector includes the searching for potential underground or underwater oil and gas fields, drilling of exploratory wells, and subsequently operating the wells that recover and bring the petroleum crude oil and/or raw natural gas to the surface.
The midstream sector involves storing, marketing and transporting petroleum crude oil, natural gas, natural gas liquids (mainly ethane, propane and butane) and byproduct sulfur. Midstream operations are sometimes included in the downstream category.
The downstream sector involves the refining of petroleum crude oil and the processing of raw natural gas. It includes the selling and distribution of processed natural gas and the products derived from petroleum crude oil such as liquified petroleum gas (LPG), gasoline (or petrol), jet fuel, diesel oil, other fuel oils, petroleum asphalt and petroleum coke.
The downstream sector includes petroleum refineries, petroleum product distribution, retail outlets and natural gas distribution companies.