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What Is an Oil Production Plant?

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  • Written By: Esther Ejim
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2016
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An oil production plant is a type of industrial plant that is specifically meant for the production processes related to crude oil and its products. In this sense, the oil production plant serves the purpose of a platform for the several activities that include the separation of water from oil or the separation of gas from oil, or even the separation of the three products from each other. The location of the oil producing plant may be onshore or it may be offshore, depending on the particular type of production facility. An offshore oil production plant is usually located off the water, on land, while the opposite is the case for the onshore oil production plant.

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Part of the process employed by some oil production plants in separating gas from the oil content of the material is through a method that is referred to as gas flaring. Usually, when this process is taking place, the gas will basically be discharged through burning the gas off and allowing it to dissipate into the atmosphere. From a distance, the gas flaring process can be observed due to the fact that it looks like a column of fire burning upward into the atmosphere. As can be imagined, separating gas from the more desirable oil is a very wasteful process since the gas is literally being wasted by the oil production plant. Still, the oil is considered more valuable than the gas, and an oil producing plant with limited production capacities would rather dedicate its manpower and resources mainly toward the extraction of the oil rather than the gas. Apart from the financial waste, this process also has a highly detrimental effect on the environment and on the health of human beings, plants and animals within the vicinity where the oil production plant is located.

By far, the main objective of the majority of such oil production plants is the refining of crude oil in preparation for the sale of the same, or the exportation of the product to dealers and other consumers. An example of the outcome of such refining activities is gasoline, a product that is utilized mainly for powering vehicles and other types of compatible products that work with it. Other products that are the end result of the refining process by an oil producing plant include jet fuel that is utilized by aircraft and kerosene, which is another source of fuel.

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