Oil Refinery

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Oil Refinery'

An industrial plant that refines crude oil into petroleum products such as diesel, gasoline and heating oils. Oil refineries essentially serve as the second stage in the production process following the actual extraction by oil rigs. The first step in the refining process is distillation where crude oil is heated at extreme temperatures to separate the different hydrocarbons.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Oil Refinery'

The crude oil components, once separated can be sold to different industries for a broad range of purposes. Lubricants can be sold to industrial plants immediately after distillation, but other products require more refining before reaching the final user. Major refineries have the capacity to process hundreds of thousand barrels of crude oil a day.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Thierry Desmarest

    The chairman and former CEO and president of Total, one of the ...
  2. Institute Of Petroleum - IP

    The Institute of Petroleum (IP), based in the United Kingdom, ...
  3. Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage ...

    Steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) is a drilling technique ...
  4. Initial Production

    The measurement of an oil well's production at the outset. Initial ...
  5. Crude Oil

    A naturally occurring, unrefined petroleum product composed of ...
  6. Sweet Crude

    A type of oil that meets certain content requirements, including ...
Related Articles
  1. Economics

    Peak Oil: What To Do When The Wells Run Dry

    Find out how to invest and protect your investments in this slippery sector.
  2. Economics

    J.D. Rockefeller: From Oil Baron To Billionaire

    More than 70 years after his death, this man remains one of the great figures of Wall Street.
  3. Forex Strategies

    Canada's Commodity Currency: Oil And The Loonie

    When the price of oil goes up, don't worry about how much gas is going to cost - get even by making a play on the Canadian dollar.
  4. Taxes

    Spoil Your Grandkids, Cut Your Tax Bill

    Helping your grandchildren save for college is a way to spoil them and reap some benefits yourself.
  5. Options & Futures

    Peak Oil: Problems And Possibilities

    Learn a little more about the "non" part of this nonrenewable resource.
  6. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Commodity Funds 101

    These funds make investing in gold, oil or grain an easier prospect.
  7. Economics

    Meet OPEC, Manager Of Oil Wealth

    This organization's decisions can influence oil prices, but there is a limit to its power.
  8. Markets

    What Is The Current Market Supply For Oil?

    Oil prices skidded by more than 10 %, sparking a sell-off in U.S. equities of 3.5 %, a Treasury rally and global headlines of growth fears and tumult.
  9. Economics

    What regulations are in place that affect fracking?

    Read about some of the regulations that impact the practice of hydraulic fracturing, which is used to increase oil and gas well output.
  10. Economics

    What causes oil prices to fluctuate?

    Discover how OPEC, demand and supply, natural disasters, production costs and political instability are some of the major causes in oil price fluctuation.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Weight Of Ice, Snow Or Sleet Insurance

    Financial protection against damage caused to property by winter weather specifically, damage caused if a roof caves in because ...
  2. Weather Insurance

    A type of protection against a financial loss that may be incurred because of rain, snow, storms, wind, fog, undesirable ...
  3. Portfolio Turnover

    A measure of how frequently assets within a fund are bought and sold by the managers. Portfolio turnover is calculated by ...
  4. Commercial Paper

    An unsecured, short-term debt instrument issued by a corporation, typically for the financing of accounts receivable, inventories ...
  5. Federal Funds Rate

    The interest rate at which a depository institution lends funds maintained at the Federal Reserve to another depository institution ...
  6. Fixed Asset

    A long-term tangible piece of property that a firm owns and uses in the production of its income and is not expected to be ...
Trading Center