the Petroleum Industry


The petroleum industry includes the global processes of exploration, extraction, refining, transporting, and marketing petroleum products.

Petroleum is a naturally occurring, yellow-to-black liquid found in geological formations beneath the Earth's surface, which is commonly refined into various types of fuels.

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The largest volume products of the industry are fuel oil and gasoline.

Gasoline outside North America, is a transparent, petroleum-derived liquid that is used primarily as a fuel in internal combustion engines.

Fuel oil, is a fraction obtained from petroleum distillation, either as a distillate or a residue.

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Petroleum is also the raw material for many chemical products, including pharmaceuticals, solvents, fertilizers, pesticides, and plastics.

A fertilizer or fertiliser is any material of natural or synthetic origin that is applied to soils or to plant tissues to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants.

Plastic is a material consisting of any of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic compounds that are malleable and can be molded into solid objects.

Pesticides are substances meant for attracting, seducing, and then destroying any pest.


The industry is usually divided into three major components: upstream, midstream and downstream.


Midstream operations are usually included in the downstream category.


Petroleum is vital to many industries, and is of importance to the maintenance of industrial civilization in its current configuration, and thus is a critical concern for many nations.

A civilization is any complex society characterized by urban development, social stratification, symbolic communication forms, and a perceived separation from and domination over the natural environment by a cultural elite.


Oil accounts for a large percentage of the world’s energy consumption, ranging from a low of 32% for Europe and Asia, to a high of 53% for the Middle East.

The Middle East is a transcontinental region centered on Western Asia and Egypt.

Europe is a continent that comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.


Other geographic regions' consumption patterns are as follows: South and Central America, Africa, and North America.

Central America is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast.

North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere.


The world consumes 30 billion barrels of oil per year, with developed nations being the largest consumers.


The United States consumed 25% of the oil produced in 2007.


The production, distribution, refining, and retailing of petroleum taken as a whole represents the world's largest industry in terms of dollar value.


Governments such as the United States government provide a heavy public subsidy to petroleum companies, with major tax breaks at virtually every stage of oil exploration and extraction, including the costs of oil field leases and drilling equipment.

An "oil field" or "oilfield" is a region with an abundance of oil wells extracting petroleum from below ground.

Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery of information or resources.

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