About petroleum industry sectors
The upstream sector includes searching for potential underground or underwater crude oil and natural gas fields, drilling 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, and corresponding developments in liquefied natural gas (LNG) processing and transport.
- Exploration & Production (E&P)
- Firms explore new hydrocarbon fields
- Discovered fields developed and petroleum produced
The midstream operations are often taken to include some elements of the upstream and downstream sectors. For example, the midstream sector may include natural gas processing plants that purify the raw natural gas as well as removing and producing elemental sulfur and natural gas liquids (NGL) as finished end-products.
- Trasnportation of oil and natural gas
- LNG Terminals
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 reaches consumers through products such as gasoline or petrol, kerosene, jet fuel, diesel oil, heating oil, fuel oils, lubricants, waxes, asphalt, natural gas, and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as well as hundreds of petrochemicals.
- Refinery processes crude oil to produce different products
- Petrochemical plants
- Polymers, Plastics and other products