Upstream

What is 'Upstream'

Upstream refers to operation stages in the oil and gas industry that involve exploration and production. Upstream operations deal primarily with the exploration stages of the oil and gas industry, with upstream firms taking the first steps to first locate, test and drill for oil and gas. Later, once reserves are proven, upstream firms will extract any oil and gas from the reserve.

BREAKING DOWN 'Upstream'

Oil and gas companies can generally be divided into three segments: upstream, midstream and downstream. Most large oil companies are known as "integrated" because they combine upstream activities with midstream and downstream operations, which take place after the production phase through to the point of sale.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Integrated Oil & Gas Company

    A business entity that engages in the exploration, production, ...
  2. Exploration & Production - E&P

    An E&P company is known to be in a specific sector within ...
  3. Downstream

    The oil and gas operations that take place after the production ...
  4. Energy Sector

    A category of stocks that relate to producing or supplying energy. ...
  5. Natural Gas Equivalent

    The amount of energy used by the burning of natural gas versus ...
  6. Operating Netback

    A measure of oil and gas sales net of royalties, production and ...
Related Articles
  1. Options & Futures

    Companies Affected Most by Low Oil Prices

    Low oil prices have affected many companies. Some consumers and producers who rely on oil as a key input benefit, while others do not.
  2. Stock Analysis

    Drilling Deep Into The Chevron Earnings Report

    Chevron struggles to grow production amid large declines in North American upstream spending.
  3. Investing Basics

    5 Reasons Why Private Equity Investors Like Oil and Gas Companies

    Oil and gas companies may look like a risky industry on the outside, but private equity investors have found reasons to regularly invest in these firms.
  4. Stock Analysis

    The World's Top 10 Natural Gas Companies (XOM, OGZPY)

    Read about the 10 companies that combined to produce about 105 billion cubic feet of natural gas in 2014, about 30% of the world's total production.
  5. Fundamental Analysis

    5 Biggest Risks Faced By Oil And Gas Companies

    Before investing in gas and oil stocks, consider such factors as political and geological risks.
  6. Economics

    The World’s Biggest State Owned Oil Companies

    Read about eight of the biggest government-controlled oil producers in the world, and learn more about how they are organized and how much oil they produce.
  7. Stock Analysis

    This 'Hated' Sector Offers Great Yields and Catalysts Galore

    When is the best time to focus on a particular industry? When it's deeply out of favor.Every industry hits the occasional rough patch, which typically leads investors to focus their attention ...
  8. Stock Analysis

    The 7 Biggest Canadian Natural Gas Companies (CNQ, HSE.TO)

    Read about the seven biggest Canadian natural gas companies as measured by production volume and learn a little more about their recent performance.
  9. Investing News

    Oil Producers Not Alone in Downturn

    Upstream oil producers are not the only ones feeling the pressure from low oil prices. Midstream and offshore players are suffering too.
  10. Investing

    Will Gas Prices Ever Go Down?

    Fortunately, high gas prices are not inevitable. Here are some events that would help reduce the cost of oil.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is the difference between upstream and downstream oil and gas operations?

    Learn about the oil and gas supply chain. Learn why exploration, production, and drilling are considered upstream, while ... Read Answer >>
  2. What is the average growth rate of the oil & gas drilling sector?

    Learn about the growth rate in the critically important market sector of oil and gas exploration and production, and see ... Read Answer >>
  3. What are average operating expenses for the oil and gas sector?

    Learn about the average operating expenses and average operating expenses margin for the oil and gas sector and how they ... Read Answer >>
  4. What are the main benchmarks that track the oil & gas drilling sector?

    Read about several different types of benchmarks that investors can use to track the overall performance of the oil and gas ... Read Answer >>
  5. What percentage of the global economy is comprised of the oil & gas drilling sector?

    Read about a rising industry that already composes as much as one-twentieth of total global economic output: the oil & gas ... Read Answer >>
  6. What impact has the increase in shale gas drilling had on the oil and gas industry?

    Read about some of the domestic and global impacts of the shale oil and gas revolution on the oil and gas industry, particularly ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Goldilocks Economy

    An economy that is not so hot that it causes inflation, and not so cold that it causes a recession. This term is used to ...
  2. White Squire

    Very similar to a "white knight", but instead of purchasing a majority interest, the squire purchases a lesser interest in ...
  3. MACD Technical Indicator

    Moving Average Convergence Divergence (or MACD) is a trend-following momentum indicator that shows the relationship between ...
  4. Over-The-Counter - OTC

    Over-The-Counter (or OTC) is a security traded in some context other than on a formal exchange such as the NYSE, TSX, AMEX, ...
  5. Quarter - Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4

    A three-month period on a financial calendar that acts as a basis for the reporting of earnings and the paying of dividends.
  6. Weighted Average Cost Of Capital - WACC

    Weighted average cost of capital (WACC) is a calculation of a firm's cost of capital in which each category of capital is ...
Trading Center