Oil and natural gas are major industries in the energy market and play an influential role in the global economy as the world's primary fuel sources. The processes and systems involved in producing and distributing oil and gas are highly complex, capital-intensive, and require state-of-the-art technology.
The upstream sector is also known as the E&P (Exploration and Production) sector. It consists of processes and operations that involve searching for potential underground or underwater crude oil and natural gas fields, drilling of exploratory wells, and subsequently drilling and operating the wells that recover and bring the crude oil and/or raw natural gas to the surface.
The midstream sector is usually combined in literature with the downstream sector. This segment in the supply chain involves the transportation, storage and marketing of various oil and gas products. Transportation options can vary from small connector pipelines to massive cargo ships making trans-ocean crossings, depending on the commodity and distance covered.
When it comes to the downstream sector, it encompasses the refining, processing, distillation, and purification before turning it into usable, sellable, and consumable products e.g., fuels, raw chemicals and finished products etc. All of these services transform crude oil into usable products such as gasoline, fuel oils, and petroleum-based products.