Oil and gas are extracted from the ground, on land or under the oceans. Ships, trains and pipelines transport the extracted oils and gases to the refineries. The refineries then carry out processes that cause various physical and chemical changes in crude oil and natural gas.
The three main types of refinery processes are separation, conversion and treatment.
One of the most important processes here is distillation: Heavy crude oil is seperated into lighter groups (so-called fractions) of hydrocarbons. These include naphtha, components of natural gas such as butane, and some of the by-products of oil refining, such as ethane and propane.
The products of refining, especially naphtha (crude gasoline), also form important basic materials and precursors for the chemical industry; for example, over 100 years of close cooperation between petroleum refineries and chemical plants has been established.
The raw material crude oil is also used to produce higher-value products such as gasoline, diesel fuel, heating oil or kerosene through purification, distillation and conversion.
Cracking is a process of splitting heavy oil molecules into lighter, more valuable fractions. There are two types: steam cracking and catalytic cracking. High temperatures are used in steam cracking. Catalytic cracking uses a catalyst. The plant in which these processes are carried out is called a cracker.
Once these processes are completed, new products are obtained that serve as building blocks for the petrochemical industry: Olefins, i.e. mainly ethylene, propylene and the so-called C4 derivatives, including butadiene and aromatics, so named because of their characteristic perfumed smell.
Engineering and construction management
Our involvement in the oil and gas and petroleum industries is characterized by plant engineering and construction. Here, Dosign engineers support both modernisation and brownfield projects as well as plant expansion.
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