Refining Processes & Petroleum Products

E-learning This course can be adapted to virtual classroom mode

Who should attend?

  • This course provides a broad technical information on refining processes and petroleum products, enabling a rapid immersion in the refining industry.
Public :
  • Professionals in the Oil & Gas industry (engineers, technicians…) or related sectors (in the technical, commercial, legal, finance, or HR departments) interested in oil refining.

Level : Foundation

Course Content


      • Energy and non-energy products and their main uses, CO2 emissions and main regulated pollutants in the end use.
      • Principal components of petroleum products; general hydrocarbon classification and main impurities (sulfur, nitrogen, metals and asphaltenes, etc.).
      • Quality requirements imposed on petroleum products in view of their utilization: quality specifications measured by standard tests, characteristics related to the product composition, origin and processing routes.
      • New trends in market structure and product characteristics to European and worldwide scale, post-combustion depollution systems, biofuels (nature, alternative fuel pathways for transport, strengths and weaknesses).

      • Crude oil fractionation:
      • Origin, overall characteristics and classification of crude oils.
      • Yields and properties of straight-run cuts obtained by distillation, potential destinations.
      • Industrial units: atmospheric distillation, vacuum distillation, light-ends fractionation.
      • Typical process scheme, operating conditions, energy consumption.
      • Catalytic reforming and isomerization:
      • Octane improvement of virgin naphthas.
      • Basics of processes, types of catalyst, product yields and hydrogen production.
      • Industrial units: process flowsheets, operating conditions, equipment, low pressure processes.
      • Hydrorefining processes:
      • Main features of impurities removal by catalytic hydrogen treatment.
      • Main refining applications.
      • Example of ULSD hydrotreatment unit: operating principles, operating conditions.
      • Scrubbing treatments: amine washing, sulfur production, treatment of residual gases from Claus units.
      • Conversion units:
      • Outline of conversion and various cracking processes.
      • Characteristics and origin of feeds for cracking.
      • Conversion by means of thermal cracking: visbreaker, various cokers.
      • Conversion by means of catalytic cracking: FCC and related units, gasoline sweetening and desulfurization, alkylation, production of MTBE, ETBE and propylene, hydrocracker and related units, hydrogen production (SMR, POX).
      • Recent developments in hydrotreatment and hydroconversion of heavy residues.
      • Hydrogen balance in the refinery, energy consumption per unit, CO2 emissions at the outlet of the refinery.
      • Other processes for production of petroleum products: GTL, synthetic crude oils.

      • Main routes to major products.
      • Up to date refining schemes including the production of petrochemical intermediate products.
      • Impacts of the evolution of market demand and the quality of the products on manufacturing patterns.
      • Base lube oil manufacturing.

      • Prices of crude oils and products, operating costs, economic margin of a refinery.
      • Examples of flexibility in operation and its economic consequences.

Learning Objectives

  • Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:
  • describe the composition, main characteristics and new trends of petroleum products,
  • explain the role of various processing units in a refinery,
  • describe the main manufacturing schemes encountered in oil refining,
  • assess the economic environment of this industry.

Ways & Means

  • Detailed course material with a glossary of the main technical terms used in the refining industry.
  • Active participation of trainees through interactive games and quizzes to grasp the key points of the course.
  • A virtual visit of a refinery using the augmented reality gives an idea of the size of the equipment and units presented.
  • A summary per unit is built to highlight key process variables.
To French entities : IFP Training is QUALIOPI certified ; you may contact your OPCO about potential funding.
Please contact our disabled persons referent to check the accessibility of this training program :