Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

2013 Edition
| Editors: Saul I. Gass, Michael C. Fu

Petroleum Refining

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1153-7_1268


By many financial and physical measures, the petroleum industry is the world’s largest industry. The industry’s operations comprise a global supply chain that produces, transports, refines, and distributes more than 85 million barrels of oil per day – nearly 5 billion tons per year.

Because of its scale, global scope, and huge capital requirements, the petroleum industry is populated with many large, vertically-integrated companies (many of them national oil companies) with global operations. The industry is highly competitive because it has many participants and because it produces basic commodities (e.g., gasoline, diesel fuel, petrochemical feedstocks, etc.) that are difficult to differentiate by brand. The industry’s huge volume and low margins mean that even small changes in operating costs have important effects on operating results. The petroleum industry is a leader in the development and application of new technology; it develops and applies advanced technologies...

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MathPro Inc.BethesdaUSA