Downstream

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DEFINITION of 'Downstream'

The oil and gas operations that take place after the production phase, through to the point of sale. Downstream operations can include refining crude oil and distributing the by-products down to the retail level. By-products can include gasoline, natural gas liquids, diesel and a variety of other energy sources.

BREAKING DOWN 'Downstream'

Most large oil companies are known as being "integrated" because they combine upstream activities, which include exploration and production, with downstream operations. Some prefer to divide downstream operations into mid and downstream, with the refining process taking place midstream and the distribution occurring in the downstream phase.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. How much oil must be produced to maintain inventory levels in the United States?

    Domestic energy investors should track the reserve inventory of crude oil for the United States, which is released in a weekly ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. To what extent is the oil and gas sector dominated by a few major companies?

    Oil and gas are two expansive and highly diverse product lines, with active competition domestically and internationally. ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What factors are the primary drivers of share prices in the oil and gas sector?

    The primary drivers of share prices in the oil and gas sector are energy prices and economic growth. Stock prices in the ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What impact does the growth in horizontal drilling have in the oil and gas sector?

    It is tough to separate the growth in horizontal drilling from the growth in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking; the two techniques ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are the main substitutes for oil and gas energy?

    The main substitutes for oil and gas energy include nuclear power, solar power, ethanol and wind power. Fossil fuels dwarf ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How much of the United States' energy comes from oil and gas?

    As of 2014, the oil and gas sector accounted for approximately 50% of total U.S. energy needs, with approximately another ... Read Full Answer >>

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