Refining Operations and Economics

Boost your practical application of best practice techniques to improve productivity and profitability in the complex and highly competitive refining sector

This highly practical and interactive three-day programme will enable you to:

  • Develop your understanding of the key global drivers of refining economics
  • Identify what you can control and influence to improve profitability
  • Examine the operational and commercial characteristics of separation, conversion and upgrading processes
  • Gain insight into market driving forces to understand their impact on your business
  • Identify and examine sources of competitive advantage and understand where your business can benefit
  • Attain hands-on experience of effective refining margin calculation to apply to your own business
  • Learn how to apply key financial techniques when modelling a refinery to effectively maximise your operations
  • Review the risks in doing business with new and emerging markets to protect against them
  • Plan effectively for future challenges
  • Compare your current operations against the strategies of the major players active in this sector


What is the programme about?

Fluctuations in demand, increased legislations, trade sanctions, increased competition from emerging markets has compounded the need to boost margins and enhance profitability. All aspects of the business must be reviewed from operational through to commercial to guarantee sustainable profitability in a challenging global environment.

This focused three-day programme has been designed to deliver the essential knowledge and understanding of current best practice in refinery optimisation from the purchase and process through to shipping and margins. It is a must attend for anyone who wants to understand how they can impact and improve their margins in today global environment.


All oil refining personnel from operations, commercial, legal, financial and support roles who would benefit from an enhanced understanding of the oil refining economics.

  • Plant Managers
  • Asset Managers
  • Commercial, Marketing and Sales
  • Strategists and Planners
  • Government Officials
  • Engineers
  • Bankers and Equity Fund Managers
  • Lawyers and Legal Counsel
  • Finance and HR Personnel
  • Also relevant to team members with or in a project team that is working within this area to offer relevant and educated support



Day 1

The Refining Process

  • Introduction

  • Refining Process and Technology
    - Separation Processes
    - Conversion Processes
    - Upgrading Processes

  • Refinery Complexity

  • Worldwide Refining Industry

  • Overview

  • Capacity and Utilization Rate

  • Geographic Distribution

  • Petroleum Transportation

  • Refinery Location

  • Petroleum Shipping: Ship Size vs. cost

Practical group exercise: Freight.
Participants will split into groups to review and work through an exercise that highlights the current key challenges for shipping goods.

Day 2

Pricing and Margins 

  • Understand Crude and Products

  • Pricing
    - Spot Cargo
    - Contract Trade
    - Reported Spot Prices
    - The Use of Futures Prices

  • Crude Oil Quality and Value
    - General Quality Parameters
    - Different Types of Crude Oils
    - Crude value vs. Quality

  • Refining Margin Calculation

  • Definition of Margin

  • Refining Margin and Profitability

  • Limitations of Refining Margin

Practical group exercise: Margin
Participants will split into groups to review and work through an exercise that provides a proven structure to calculating margins effectively and highlighting areas for improvement.

Day 3


The Refining Market 

  • World Refined Products Market

  • Overview

  • Historical Consumption by region

  • Historical Supply by Region

  • International Trade

  • Demand Outlook

  • Supply Outlook

  • Refined Products Quality

  • Specifications

  • Refining Cost Analysis
    - Capital Cost
    - Operating Costs

  • Refinery Profit Maximization
    - The Concept of Linear
  • Programming
    - Modelling a Refinery
    - Implications for Investment

  • Planning

Practical group exercise: Processing deal exercise
Participants will work through a processing deal scenario to highlight the legal, commercial and financial risks that need to be considered in negotiation and the agreement structure.
Course Categories

Course Testimonials

“Nice Organisation and good trainer…The information regarding oil prices and transportation was highly useful.” - Oleksii Dovgalov - Production analyst - NIS..

, Oleksii Dovgalov NIS

Delivered by

Chris Brown has spent his whole career in the petroleum and petrochemicals industries, both in do

Dates & Locations

This course is only available as a custom course tailored for your business, contact us to discuss your requirements.