Petroleum Pipeline System An overview of an oil pipeline system from the wellhead to downstream consumers
Natural Gas Pipeline System An overview of a natural gas pipeline system from the wellhead to the consumer

The oil and gas industry is usually divided into three major components: upstream, midstream and downstream. The midstream sector involves the transportation (by pipeline, rail, barge, oil tanker or truck), storage, and wholesale marketing of crude or refined petroleum products. Pipelines and other transport systems can be used to move crude oil from production sites to refineries and deliver the various refined products to downstream distributors.[1][2][3] Natural gas pipeline networks aggregate gas from natural gas purification plants and deliver it to downstream customers, such as local utilities.

The midstream operations are often taken to include some elements of the upstream and downstream sectors. For example, the midstream sector may include natural gas processing plants that purify the raw natural gas as well as removing and producing elemental sulfur and natural gas liquids (NGL) as finished end-products.

Service providers

Midstream in ISO standards

ISO 20815 defines "midstream" in its definition section as:
3.1.27 midstream
business category involving the processing and transportation sectors of petroleum industry.[4]

Examples: transportation pipelines, terminals, gas processing and treatment, LNG, LPG, and GTL.

See also


  1. ^ "Petroleum industry". Archived from the original on 2013-04-12. Retrieved 2013-05-23.
  2. ^ "Upstream, midstream & downstream". Archived from the original on 2014-01-07. Retrieved 2014-01-07.
  3. ^ Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC), Industry Overview Archived 2017-05-08 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ ISO, ISO 20815, accessed 6 June 2018