Possible Job Opportunities in the Oil Refinery Industry

Finding a job in the oil refinery industry can be a rewarding experience. In fact it can be a life changing experience, but the only thing is to find the oil refinery job on your choice. It is difficult to find a position that suite your needs and professional background, and most people send daily resumes to companies that provide oil refinery services. You can raise your chances at a job interview for a position in the oil refinery if you will know more about the operations and the products of this sector.

After the petroleum is extracted from the ground, the next natural step is sending it to the refineries. The way of crude oil to the refineries involves its transportation through a vast network of pipelines, barges or tanker ships.

For the readers who are looking for employment and that are not yet familiar with the standard measurements of crude oil, we will mention that a 42 gallon barrel of crude oil, after going through the refining process converts to 44 gallons of petroleum products, such as diesel or gasoline.

The processing of crude oil into different oil products is an interesting one. It is a complex process, but we can outline the main stages in the layman?s terms:

  • The first stage: DISTILLATION, where the heavier components (for example the asphalt) are separated from the lighter ones (lie kerosene);
  • Second stage: CONVERSION focuses on 'cracking' the molecules of the hydrocarbons and increase the quantity of light substances like gasoline, which are more valuable.
  • Third stage: ENHANCEMENT involves treating the oil products in order to remove the sulfur, or combining the gasoline with other substances.

The refinery industry operates around-the-clock by using many employees, and the refineries can be smaller or they can cover lots of acres. In case you are looking for a job in the oil refinery, you should know then that there are three types of refineries:

  1. The smaller ones are the Topping refineries, and they operate by using two towers, usually a vacuum distillation one and an atmospheric distillation tower. The Topping refineries produce lesser types of oil products.
  2. There are also refineries that operate on lowering the level of sulfur from the diesel and raise the octane levels in gasoline. They include complex structures with desulphurization and reforming equipments as well as topping units.
  3. The largest refineries are the Complex-type ones. The technology used in those refineries is advanced regarding the refining equipments. Here the oil obtained through the refining process is more valuable, such as the gasoline for cars and planes.

The refinery industry is a complex of operations and it requires many employees with several qualifications and a large range of skills to function at its maximum capacity. The open positions are often related to mechanics, because the engines and the machines need repairs and maintenance, but if you are job hunting for any oil industry positions, there are also other available:

  1. You can search for a job as a Gauger. This job requires testing the oil from the storage tanks and regulating the flow of the oil that passes through the network of pipelines according to specific standards and rules.
  2. Another position in the oil refineries that is popular among job seekers would be Petroleum Pump System Operator, which operates manifold and the pumping systems that allow the oil and oil products to circulate through the refinery structure.
  3. The Process Engineer is a position that requires you to be familiar with the process of transportation and processing of the petroleum and oil products. If you are looking for a job as a process engineer, having a Chemical engineering degree will certainly be an advantage, because you need to know some about:
  • The design of the chemical manufacturing equipment;
  • issues related to safety measures required in the refinery;
  • The quality control or the environmental protection.

Working in an oil refinery will give you the chance to contribute to one or more of the oil processing sequences and see the crude oil finally distilled and processed in order to be turned to usable products we all use daily: plastics, tires, fuel or lubricated oils.