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Profiling the US Petroleum Refining Industry

  • July 2013
  • -
  • Aruvian's R'search
  • -
  • 330 pages

Petroleum refining has evolved continuously in response to changing consumer demand for better and different products. The original requirement was to produce kerosene as a cheaper and better source of light than whale oil. The development of the internal combustion engine led to the production of gasoline and diesel fuels. The evolution of the airplane created a need first for high-octane aviation gasoline and then for jet fuel, a sophisticated form of the original product, kerosene. Present-day refineries produce a variety of products including many required as feedstock for the petrochemical industry.


The US refining and marketing industry has been characterized by unusually low product margins, low profitability, selective retrenchment, and substantial restructuring throughout the decade of the 1990's. Costs involved in complying with environmental laws have grown substantially during the period and have also affected the profitability of the domestic industry. Profitability from the refining operations of domestic petroleum companies has varied widely, even before the 1990's. Consequently, refiners' abilities to recoup their investment have been impaired.


Starting in the late 1970's and continuing to the present, the US refining majors have invested heavily in their refineries in order to utilize heavier, more sulfurous crude oils as inputs. Over the same period, the US majors have invested in upgrading their refineries to produce greater proportions of lighter, higher valued products, particularly motor gasoline. The actual returns to these investments depend not only on the levels of input and product prices, but also can be strongly affected by the differences in prices of light and heavy petroleum products and high and low quality crude oils.


Aruvian Research’s report – Profiling the US Petroleum Refining Industry – analyzes the US petroleum refining industry starting from the basics. The report starts with a descriptive base analysis of the characteristics of the US petroleum refining industry in terms of economic quantity of demand. The drivers of demand and the traditional resources which are used to fulfill this demand are explained along with the emerging challenge of meeting the global climate change as well emerging demand for petroleum in the world. Add to this rising emission problems plaguing the industry. The report further enables the reader to view the US petroleum refining industry matrix in its present platform and also the inherent consumption patterns which are present in the markets.


A look at the refined petroleum products’ industry along with a view on the various processes involved during the entire petroleum refining process, such as distillation, alkylation, hydroprocessing, etc., is described in details in the report. Twenty one leading players of the industry are profiled in-depth in the report, along with brief profiles of some US refineries as well.

Table Of Contents

Profiling the US Petroleum Refining Industry
A. Executive Summary

B. Introduction to the US Petroleum Refining Industry
B.1 Overview of the Industry
B.2 Historical Background and Geopolitical Impacts on the Industry
B.3 Listing the Major Events Impacting US Petroleum Refining
B.4 Rising Prices of Oil
B.5 Challenges Facing US Petroleum Refiners

C. Looking at Industry Trends
C.1 Petroleum Refining Industry Driving the US Economy
C.2 Over-reliance on Imports
C.3 Fuel Products Accounting for Majority of Refined Products
C.4 Industry's Location Constraints
C.5 Increase in Capacity Utilization and Decrease in Number of Utilities
C.6 Hi-end Technology Improving Refinery Performance
C.7 Focus on Technology in the Long Run

D. Focusing on Energy Consumption of the Petroleum Refining Industry

E. Impact of the Industry on the Environment
E.1 Impact of the Manufacturing Process and Usage of Refined Petroleum Products
E.2 Overall Improvement in Industry's Environmental Performance
E.3 Regulatory Environmental Framework Affecting the Industry
E.4 A Look at Primary Air Emission Sources
E.4.1 Emissions from Equipment Leaks
E.4.2 Emissions during Process Vent
E.4.3 Emissions from Storage Tank
E.4.4 Wastewater Emissions
E.5 Significant Impact of the Clean Air Act
E.6 Impact of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards
E.7 Regulating the Industry's Effluents
E.8 A Look at the Recycling Process in Refineries
E.9 Impact of Environmental Costs and Regulatory Changes
E.10 Meeting the Global Climate Change Challenge and Lowering Overall Emissions

F. Analyzing the Integrated Petroleum Refinery
F.1 Industry Overview
F.1.2 Conversion of Crude Oil in to Practical Products
F.1.3 Understanding the Various Refining Processes
F.1.4 Improvements in Hydrogen Management and Overall Expansion in Production
F.1.5 Secondary Product of Petroleum Refining: Petrochemical Feedstocks
F.2 Overview of Energy Consumption
F.3 Overview of Environmental Emissions

G. Analyzing the Distillation Process
G.1 Separating the Crude Oil into Boiling Fractions
G.2 Importance of Desalting
G.3 Role of Atmospheric Distillation
G.4 Role of Vacuum Distillation
G.5 Emergence of New Technologies in the Process
G.6 Energy Consumed during Distillation
G.7 Environmental Emissions during Distillation
G.8 Issue with Effluents
G.9 Conclusion

H. Analyzing the Cracking and Coking Processes
H.1 Process Introduction and Overview
H.2 Understanding Catalytic Cracking
H.3 Understanding Catalytic Hydrocracking
H.4 Understanding Thermal Cracking or Coking
H.5 Delayed Coking
H.6 Fluid Coking
H.7 Visbreaking
H.8 Energy Consumed during Cracking and Coking
H.9 Environmental Emissions during Cracking and Coking
H.10 Issue with Effluents
H.11 Conclusion

I. Analyzing Catalytic Reforming
I.1 Process Introduction and Overview
I.2 Usage of Multiple Reactor Beds by Catalytic Reformers
I.3 Impact of Improvements in Technology
I.4 Energy Consumed during Catalytic Reforming
I.5 Environmental Emissions during Catalytic Reforming
I.6 Issue with Effluents
I.7 Conclusion

J. Analyzing the Process of Alkylation
J.1 Process Introduction and Overview
J.2 Sulfuric Acid-Based Alkylation Processes
J.3 Hydrofluoric Acid-Based Alkylation Process
J.4 Impact of New Technologies
J.5 Energy Consumed during Alkylation
J.6 Environmental Emissions during Alkylation
J.7Issue with Effluents
J.8 Conclusion

K. Analyzing the Process of Hydroprocessing
K.1 Process Introduction and Overview
K.2 Impact of New Technologies
K.3 Energy Consumed during Hydroprocessing
K.4 Environmental Emissions during Hydroprocessing
K.5Issue with Effluents
K.6 Conclusion

L. Analyzing Additives and Blending Components used in the Industry
L.1 Process Introduction and Overview
L.2 Understanding Isomerization
L.3 Role of Isobutylene
L.4 Role of Ethanol
L.5 Meeting the Rising Demand for Ethanol
L.6 Energy Consumed by Additives and Blending
L.7 Environmental Emissions by Additives and Blending
L.8 Issue with Effluents
L.9 Conclusion

M. Analyzing the Process of Lubricating Oil Manufacturing
M.1 Process Introduction and Overview
M.2 Understanding Solvent Extraction
M.3 Understanding Solvent Dewaxing
M.4 Understanding Deasphalting
M.5 Role of Hydrocracking
M.6 Impact of New Technologies
M.7 Energy Consumed from Lubricating Oil Manufacturing
M.8 Environmental Emissions from Lubricating Oil Manufacturing
M.9 Issue with Effluents
M.10 Conclusion

N. Analyzing the Auxiliary Processes Involved
N.1 Sulfur Management
N.1.1 Overview
N.1.2 Sour Water Strippers
N.1.3 Sulfur Removal
N.1.4 Wellman-Lord Oxidation Process
N.2 Chemical Treatments
N.3 Treating Waste Water
N.4 Role of Process Heaters
N.5 Energy Consumed by Auxiliary Processes
N.6 Environmental Emissions from Auxiliary Processes
N.7 Issue with Effluents
N.8 Conclusion

O. Analyzing Refined Petroleum Products Sector in US
O.1 Sector Overview
O.2 Industry Structure
O.3 Petroleum Refining Capacity
O.4 Product Subdivision
O.4.1 Gasoline
O.4.2 Distillate Fuel
O.4.3 Jet Fuel
O.4.4 Other Refined Petroleum Products
O.5 Market Subdivisions
O.5.1 Industrial Sector
O.5.2 Electric Power Sector
O.5.3 Transportation Sector
O.5.4 Residential and Commercial Sector
O.6 Import/Export Scenario
O.7 Regulatory Framework
O.8 Sector Atmosphere
O.9 Forecast for Refined Petroleum Products
O.10 Market Forecast

P. Brief Profiles of Some US Refineries
P.1 Baton Rouge Refinery
P.2 Baytown Refinery
P.3 Bayway Refinery
P.4 Billings Refinery
P.5 Catlettsburg Refinery
P.6 Cherry Point Refinery
P.7 Delaware City Refinery
P.8 HDG International Group Refinery
P.9 Perth Amboy Refinery
P.10 Pine Bend Refinery
P.11 Port Arthur Refinery
P.12 Port Reading Refinery
P.13 Rodeo San Francisco Refinery
P.14 Tacoma Refinery
P.15 Texas City Refinery
P.16 Wamsutta Oil Refinery
P.17 Wood River Refinery

Q. Leading Industry Players
Q.1 BP Plc
Q.2 Calumet Lubricants
Q.3 Chevron Corporation
Q.4 Citgo Petroleum Corporation
Q.5 ConocoPhillips Company
Q.6 Ergon Inc
Q.7 ExxonMobil
Q.8 Frontier Oil
Q.9 Hess Corporation
Q.10 Hunt Refining Company
Q.11 Husky Energy
Q.12 Marathon Petroleum Company LLC
Q.13 Motiva Enterprises
Q.14 Murphy Oil Corporation
Q.15 Paramount Petroleum
Q.16 Shell Oil Company
Q.17 Sinclair Oil Corporation
Q.18 Suncor Energy
Q.19 Sunoco Inc
Q.20 Tesoro Corporation
Q.21 Valero Energy Corporation

R. Appendix

S. Glossary of Terms


Companies Mentioned
Rosneft Oil Company
Gazprom OAO
Imperial Energy
TNK-BP Holding OAO

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