Strait of Hormuz

Assessing the threat to oil flows through the Strait

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Petroleum Products

After the transportation step, refiners process crude oil into useable petroleum products. Referred to as "downstream" activities in the oil and gas industry, basic refining separates "the crude oil into its "˜fractions,' the broad categories of its component hydrocarbons."[iii] Some high-end products require still further processing (e.g., jet fuel). The quality of the crude oil input also plays a substantial role in the level of processing needed to get the desired end products (see oil streams).

Finally, pipelines and tanker trucks carry refined energy products to storage and, ultimately, consumers. Wholesale and retail companies maintain inventories, or stocks, so they can "deliver the right product to the right location at the right time."[iv]

[i] Energy Information Administration, Oil Market Basics: Supply. Online. Available: http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/analysis_publications/oil_market_basics/supply_text.htm. Accessed: February 10, 2008.

[ii] Energy Information Administration, Oil Market Basics: Trade. Online. Available: http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/analysis_publications/oil_market_basics/trade_text.htm. Accessed: February 10, 2008.

[iii] Energy Information Administration, Oil Market Basics: Refining. Online. Available: http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/analysis_publications/oil_market_basics/refining_text.htm. Accessed: February 10, 2008.

[iv] Energy Information Administration, Oil Market Basics: Stocks. Online. Available: http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/analysis_publications/oil_market_basics/stocks_text.htm. Accessed: February 10, 2008.

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