Professional Training

Oil and Petrochemicals Overview – Industry Fundamentals and Market Principles

2 days
2 days
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Course description

This two-day course provides an overview of the entire petroleum industry, from the wellhead to the end user.  Delegates will learn about all parts of the industry, both upstream and downstream, and important current industry trends.  The course provides a basic grounding in petroleum chemistry and geology, enabling delegates to understand the origin of petroleum fuels and petrochemicals and their key quality characteristics.

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Class delegates include anyone who would benefit from knowing more about the industry in which they and their colleagues work - everyone from support staff to senior management, in all parts of the business.


Petroleum industry overview

  • Supply and demand
  • Main industry participants
  • Current trends and important recent developments

Geology of hydrocarbons

  • Oil and gas field formation
  • Source, reservoir and cap rocks
  • Geological trap structures

Characteristics of crude oil

  • Components of crude oil
  • Hydrocarbon types
  • Crude assays
  • Key quality determinants

Exploration and production

  • Exploration techniques
  • Drilling, oil and gas recovery
  • Offshore production systems
  • Obtaining access to resources

Unconventional petroleum resources

  • The importance of unconventional resources to the industry
  • Oil sands production and processing
  • Shale and tight gas and liquids
  • Hydraulic fracturing

Deepwater and arctic exploration

  • Global deepwater opportunities
  • Risks and costs of arctic exploration


  • Reserves standards
  • Oil and gas global reserves and R/P ratios

Natural Gas and LNG

  • The importance of natural gas
  • Pipeline transport of natural gas
  • LNG production and transport


  • Atmospheric and vacuum distillation
  • Cracking, hydrocracking and coking
  • Catalytic reforming
  • Gas plants, isomerisation and alkylation
  • Treatment and blending

Refinery economics

  • Global refinery capacity
  • Refining companies
  • Refinery complexity and flexibility
  • GPW, netbacks and refinery margins


  • Lubricant markets
  • Mineral and synthetic base oils
  • Key lubricant properties


  • Olefins and aromatics
  • Polyethylene and polypropylene
  • Petrochemical market trends

Liquid fuels transportation and storage

  • Pipeline transportation
  • Marine transportation
  • Storage

Wholesale oil markets

  • Oil trading markets
  • Pricing and price discovery
  • Factors affecting oil prices

Retail fuels markets

  • Markets for gasoline, kerosene, diesel, gasoil and fuel oils
  • Global and regional demand patterns and trends

As well as lecture sessions, delegates learn through class discussions, team exercises, quizzes and competitive team games.

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