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  • Writer's pictureRaid Attir

26 - Oil & Gas Supply Chain...the Three Industry Components

Updated: Oct 15, 2018

Oil & Gas products are ingrained in our day to day life. For such products to be available to consumers in a timely manner, a complex system of supply chain has been built. This system divides the Oil & Gas industry into three main components:

  • Upstream

  • Midstream

  • Downstream



This sector of the industry is also known as the Exploration & Production sector (E&P). It comprises of companies that work on identifying Oil & Gas reservoir, and producing from these reservoirs.

Activities in this sectors include:

  • G&G Surveying

  • Drilling (exploration, appraisal, and development wells)

  • Producing (from the wellhead to infield storage tanks)

Companies involved in this sector includes:

  • E&P companies (also known as operators, license holders, or simply Oil & Gas companies), such as ExxonMobil, Husky Energy, BP, Shell, Total, Rozneft and Petronas

  • Oilfield services companies, such as Schlumberger, Halliburton, Baker Hughes, and Weatherford

  • Seismic Contractors, such as WesternGeco

  • Drilling Contractors, such as TransOcean and Precision Drilling

  • Engineering and professional services consulting firms, such us our company, Oea Consulting Inc.

Upstream is the most active sector in terms of Mergers & Acquisitions, which totaled $158 B in 2017 as per Deloitte



This sector ensures that extracted hydrocarbons are transported from the field to the processing facility, such as:

  • Refineries for Crude Oil

  • Purification Plants for Natural Gas

Some associations do not recognize midstream, and consider it part of downstream

Activities in this sectors include:

  • Transportation via pipeline, railway, tankers, trucks

  • Storing Crude Oil and Natural Gas

  • managing pumping stations

Companies involved in this sector includes:

  • Pipeline Companies, such as Kinder Morgan, and Enbridge

  • Railway companies, such as Via Rail

  • Oil Tankers companies, such as Teekay, Frontline, and Tsakos



This is the final sectors, and connects directly to the consumer.

Oil refineries and Purification plants are considered the entry point of this sector. Also, Petrochemical industry is considered part of the downstream oil gas since it uses refined hydrocarbons to produce consumer products.

Activities in this sectors include:

  • Refining Crude Oil

  • Purifying Natural Gas

  • Production of petrochemical products such plastic and cosmetics

  • Retail of refiner crude oil such as gas stations

Companies involved in this sector includes:

  • Integrated Oil & Gas companies such as ExxonMobil, Suncor, and HuskyEnergy

  • Gas Stations

  • Petrochemical factories

Also, We will be happy to share more details on this post, so please don't hesitate to contact one of our team members.

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Oea Services : Project Management

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