Definition - What does Downstream mean?

Downstream is one of the three major sectors of the oil and gas industry where the refining of crude oil and the processing and purifying of the raw natural gas takes place. The distribution and marketing of products extracted from the natural gas and crude oil also takes place in this sector. The sector offers thousands of the products including natural gas liquids, diesel, gasoline and various other energy sources that consumers use in their everyday life.

Petropedia explains Downstream

Downstream is considered as the sector that actually provides the closest connection to the everyday consumer. It is also said to be the easiest for many consumers to relate to among the three sectors of the oil and gas industry, i.e., Upstream, Midstream and Downstream. The refining, purifying and marketing operations are performed in this sector of the oil and gas industry. Crude oil and raw natural gas is turned into fuel oils, gasoline and other petroleum-based products. After these petroleum-based products are extracted, the marketing services help in moving them to the end users or retailers from the energy companies.

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