Oil Refinery Market Segment Forecasts up to 2023
Refining oil implies the conversion of raw crude products into finished goods that are usable by multiple industries. Within a refinery, several types of finished goods and intermediates may be produced from crude oil.
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Various Phases in an Oil Refinery
The primary process inside an oil refinery is desalination. This is where all the salts and granular impurities in crude oil are removed. These can be detrimental to other processing units in an oil refinery, or even to the pipelines transporting the crude oil to them. Following the desalination chambers are multiple preheat trains that heat the oil up to a specific temperature. The hot oil is then transported to the crude distillation unit.
The CDU has a distillation column that processes the crude oil and uses the differences in boiling points to segregate the various products present in crude oil. Products with lower boiling points flow to the top of the distillation tower while the cooler products settle down to the bottom. Thus we obtain the key products through the refinement of oil: fuel oils, diesel oils, kerosene, gasoline, naphtha, and liquefied petroleum gas. Left at the bottom of the tower are waste residues.
After each product is segregated, it is refined even further to remove molecular impurities such as nitrogen and sulfur. This requires another distillation unit known as the vacuum distillation unit, from which we get base oil that can be used for manufacturing lubricants, and light and heavy vacuum gas oils.
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Highlights of the Global Oil Refinery Market
The global oil refinery market is currently growing at a fast pace due to the heavy demand set by the energy industry. Power generation plants that rely on oil are facing a constantly growing consumption rate on the demand side. The only region that shows signs of slower growth rates is Europe, due to the presence of a surging renewable energy industry. The overall capacity of the global oil refinery market had increased substantially in 2013, after technological advancements and the discovery of new crude sources.
The global oil refinery market is segmented according to the type of crude that is being processed in the refinery, as the type of crude determines the type of refining processes used. This criterion divides the market into the two segments of sweet crude and sour crude.
Asia Pacific Dominates Global Oil Refinery Market, China Leads in Crude Imports
Geographically, the Asia Pacific region leads the global oil refinery market in terms of refining capacity. Asia Pacific is followed by North America. A key reason for this is the major improvement in the refining capacity of China. In 2013, the China oil refinery market had an overall capacity of 12.70 million barrels every day. China is also the largest crude importer, which was also the cause of the growth in refining capacity of China.
Key Players in the Global Oil Refinery Market
The top companies that are involved in the global oil refinery market include Reliance Industries Ltd., Saudi Aramco Lubricating Oil Refining Company, Essar Oil Limited, National Iranian Oil Company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA, National Iranian Oil Company, Kuwait Petroleum International, Total Oil, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, Exxon Mobil, Conoco Phillips, ENI, China National Petroleum Company, and Chevron Corporation.
The largest oil refinery in the world is situated in Jamnagar, India. It is owned by Reliance Industries and has an overall capacity of 1.24 million barrels per day. The Paraguana Peninsula in Venezuela holds the second-largest crude refinery: a plant that can produce 955,000 barrels per day.
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