Crude Oil Refinery
Crude oil is found in the earth's crust and is a black liquid existing in different consistencies at different locations. This liquid has a variety of hydrocarbons mixed in it, and each of them can be converted into a very valuable product. Crude oil by itself cannot be used for anything but after it is processed in a crude oil refinery, the hydrocarbons are separated and we get products like diesel, petrol, Liquid Petroleum Gas, kerosene, heating oil, and a host of other petroleum products which are indispensable in daily use.
The crude oil refinery is a factory which separates the various hydrocarbons and other compounds present in the crude oil. This separation is basically done by distillation process and hence you will see a crude oil refinery having a network of pipes and various chambers. The structure of a crude oil refinery will look like a complex maze of pipes and with tall towers and containers. A large crude oil refinery will cover several hectares and take several billion dollars to build and many millions to upgrade and run. To economise on costs the crude oil refinery has to run 24/7, all the days of the year. It has a massive work force of many people working in shifts in the various departments, and all the main operations are controlled from a control room which has all the apparatus to automate the whole process of refining.
A crude oil refinery will separate the different hydrocarbons by fractional distillation, convert certain low-value fractions into components having a higher demand and treat the products so that they fit specific demands of the consumer. All these three processes make a crude oil refinery a highly profitable venture.
In fractional distillation process the crude oil refinery will heat the petroleum in furnaces and the resulting vapours formed at different temperatures are passed through different pipes to collect in different chambers or towers. The crude oil gets separated into various fractions according to its boiling points and weight of the hydrocarbons. The lightest is LPG and has lowest boiling point and will rise first to the top of the chamber and from there its directed to another tower through the network of pipes.
From fractional distillation a crude oil refinery is able to produce a variety of products from the single raw material of crude oil. The refinery is also able to purify the various resultant products to the level which is demanded. It can also convert a resultant product to another fraction which is in more demand.
There are several job hierarchies in the oil industry. The lowest job on the team of rig employees is the roustabout. Roustabouts are unskilled laborers who are just learning their trade in the oil industry. Their primary job is cleaning and maintaining the oil rig. Roustabouts are responsible for moving...