3 The natural gas extracted during this treatment can be sold, injected back into the ground
to increase the pressure in the reservoir, or used on the platform to provide the energy needs of the site. The crude
oil is put into storage tanks pending sale of the product.
(2) Refining. Reining is the process of preparing the product for sale to the consumer. From the
crude oil, several products can be made to include automobile fuels, aircraft fuels, lubricants, and other petroleum
products. There are two basic refining processes:
(a) Separation is the basic process of separating the oil into its primary fractions. The initial
stage in refining is fractionation. The most widely used method of fractionating is called distillation. Distillation
is similar to what you do when you put a pot of water on to boil. Crude oil enters a boiler or container and is
heated at different temperatures. During this process, different vapors are recovered and condensed for use as
(b) Conversion is changing petroleum factions to a more desirable state. To produce the best
quality of the preferred products in greater quantities, more advanced conversion methods have been developed.
(c) Some of the historical developments in refining include:
1 In 1913, Dr. William M. Burton built the first cracking still which produced a gasoline
product far superior in antiknock characteristics.
2 In 1921, Dr. Thomas Midgely discovered that a small amount of tetraethyl lead added to
gasoline would reduce engine knock, increasing the power and efficiency of engines.
3 In 1937, Eugene Houdry introduced catalytic cracking which further increased the yield
of gasoline from each barrel of crude oil processed and improved the quality of the fuel. As a result of oil
company research, hundreds of other new and improved products began to appear during this period.
(3) Transportation. Modem transportation for petroleum products consists of multiple modes to
move both crude oil and finished products. Pipelines, oil ongoing tankers, canal and river barges, railroad tank
cars and highway tank trucks are all part of the petroleum transportation network. If possible for use, the pipeline
is the most economical way of transporting large volumes of petroleum at one time.
(a) Early transportation consisted of movement of oil in wooden barrels. To supply refineries
located a distance away, Coopers (makers of barrels) worked overtime making barrels for crude oil. Thousands of
teamsters churned roads into quagmires as they lurched and splashed toward the nearest railroad. At first, the
barrels of oil were transported on flat cars and rafts. This was an inefficient, slow method of moving oil.
(b) In 1865, a railroad tankcar was built for carrying petroleum. That same year, the first oil
pipeline was laid. It was 5 miles in length. Teamsters and railroad men saw themselves being replaced by a
formidable new competitor. Fights and court battles followed, until finally pipelines established their right to
operate under law.
(c) In 1879, the first major pipeline was completed. It extended 1 10 miles across the Allegheny
Mountains to Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and was regarded as the engineering marvel of the age.