Downstream Glossary

The Downstream Glossary is a free encyclopedia developed for the refining, petrochemical, and oil and gas transportation industries. The Downstream Glossary is built by volunteers and the Downstream Team. If you would like to add a term and description to the Downstream Glossary you can email us using the contact form.

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Refining - Petroleum refining converts crude oil into more useful products like fuels and petrochemicals. Pure crude burns quickly and leaves behind unwanted residue. Thus the oil needs to be separated and treated before use.
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Petrochemicals - Petrochemicals are chemicals made from crude oil through the refining process. Some petrochemicals can be made using coal or natural gas. There are two main classes of petrochemical materials: olefins and aromatics.
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Tankers - Tankers serve a vital role in the oil and gas industry. A tanker transports build liquids or gasses via a large ocean-going vessel. Specialized tankers are utilized to carry liquified or compress natural gas.
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Pipelines - Constructing pipelines can be difficult and expensive, but once built, they provide one of the safest and most economical means of transporting oil and gas and the subsequent refined petroleum products.
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Terminals & Storage - A terminal is a storage facility for refined products. Pipelines or tankers deliver crude and petrochemicals to the terminals for storage and redistribution. Typically a terminal will have more than one storage tank on site, which makes it a tank farm.
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