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. Rockefeller chose the refining business, where the profits were smaller but more stable.
    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. Chart Advisor

    Cocoa Prices Setting Up For A Move Lower

    Cocoa prices have been trending lower over the past several months and the recent bearish crossover between the 50-day and 200-day moving averages suggest that the long-term downtrend is gaining ...
  9. Stock Analysis

    Breaking Down the Halliburton Baker Hughes Deal

    Halliburton is using a downturn to get bigger and stronger in the long term, and the company is getting Baker Hughes at a reasonable price as a result.
  10. Economics

    How Weak Oil Prices Affect Airline Profits

    Oil prices are a bit like the weather. This is an opportunity for airlines to invest the higher revenue back into the business.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Deferred Revenue

    Advance payments or unearned revenue, recorded on the recipient's balance sheet as a liability, until the services have been ...
  2. Multinational Corporation - MNC

    A corporation that has its facilities and other assets in at least one country other than its home country. Such companies ...
  3. SWOT Analysis

    A tool that identifies the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of an organization. Specifically, SWOT is a basic, ...
  4. Simple Interest

    A quick method of calculating the interest charge on a loan. Simple interest is determined by multiplying the interest rate ...
  5. Special Administrative Region - SAR

    Unique geographical areas with a high degree of autonomy set up by the People's Republic of China. The Special Administrative ...
  6. Annual Percentage Rate - APR

    The annual rate that is charged for borrowing (or made by investing), expressed as a single percentage number that represents ...
Trading Center