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Upstream, Midstream And Downstream (petroleum Industry)

methanol canThe terms upstream, midstream and downstream are sometimes used to confer with the most important sectors or operational components of the petroleum industry.

1 The upstream sector
2 The midstream sector
3 The downstream sector 3.1 Byproduct sulfur
3.2 Petrochemical industry

The upstream sector
The upstream sector involves the exploration for natural gas price at henry hub and extraction of petroleum crude oil and natural gas. The upstream oil sector is also known because the exploration and production (E&P) sector.

The upstream sector includes the trying to find 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
The midstream 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 within the downstream category.

The downstream sector
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 equivalent to 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,[1] petroleum product distribution, retail outlets and natural gas distribution companies.

Byproduct sulfur
Petroleum crude natural gas price at henry hub oil is a mixture of hundreds of hydrocarbons, lots of which contain sulfur that’s removed through the refining of the crude oil. Raw natural gas also has sulfur-containing compounds, that are removed in processing of the raw natural gas before it is distributed to consumers. The sulfur-containing compounds removed within the refining and processing of petroleum crude oil and raw natural gas are subsequently converted into byproduct elemental sulfur. The production and marketing of the byproduct sulfur is considered to be part of the downstream sector.

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]

Petrochemical industry
The petrochemical industry shouldn’t be generally considered to be a part of the petroleum industry. However, it’s sometimes listed as a part of the downstream sector and sometimes as a fourth sector of the petroleum industry.

↑ Gary, J.H. and Handwerk, G.E. (1984). Petroleum Refining Technology and Economics, 2nd Edition. Marcel Dekker, Inc. ISBN 0-8247-7150-8.