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Refining Processes & Petroleum Products

Refining Processes & Petroleum Products

5 days
This course is not scheduled.
Who should attend?


    • Professionals in the Oil & Gas industry or related sectors (in the technical, commercial, legal, finance, or HR departments) interested in oil refining.


  • Foundation
  • This course provides a broad technical information on refining processes and petroleum products, enabling a rapid immersion in the refining industry.
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.
Course Content


1.25 days

  • 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).


2.75 days

  • 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.


0.25 day

  • 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.
  • A virtual visit of refinery in augmented reality will enable the trainees to gain a direct understanding of the field reality and the size of units and equipment shown.


0.75 day

  • Prices of crude oils and products, operating costs, economic margin of a refinery.
  • Examples of flexibility in operation and its economic consequences.
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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.
  • The use of 2D/3D photos and videos makes it possible to understand the size of the devices and units presented.
  • A summary per unit is built to highlight key process variables.