Pretty much anything with a motor is dependent on petrol. Often referred to as the ‘downstream’ sector, the UK petroleum industry directly employs over 150,000 people that assist in refining, distributing and promoting petroleum-based products.
With the UK transport market alone requiring over 50 million tonnes of petrol each year, it really is a huge industry.
Every car, bus, boat and plane would be rendered useless without petroleum. As a ‘downstream’ sector, the petroleum industry is responsible for converting the oil and gas collected through exploration and extraction in the ‘upstream’ sector.
Which roles make up the petroleum industry?
The majority of occupations available in the petroleum industry focus on the refining, distribution and marketing of its many products. Oil refineries, distribution hubs and petrol stations are the most common places where you are likely to find yourself working; however, this is always dependent on the focus of your work.
Refineries offer a number of technical career opportunities, including positions for engineers, laboratory supervisors, and general technicians.
As for the distribution of the petrol itself, depot supervisors, drivers, health and safety officers and technical services managers are required.
According to the sector skills council, Cogent, managers and senior officials account for 28% of positions available in the petroleum industry, with professional, technical, process and plant operatives offering a further 34% of jobs in this sector.
Most of the career options are heavily technical, with the majority of positions requiring particular expertise in either operating machinery, working in a lab or overseeing the many processes required to convert the raw materials into a commercial product.
Where is this petroleum put to use?
Around 60% of the petrol produced by the UK’s refineries is for transport fuels, covering unleaded petrol, diesel and aviation kerosene. This is then split for retail and commercial use.
Despite popular opinion, it’s not just about burning fossil fuels! The industry also produces ‘green’ products, such as bio-diesel, from various renewable sources to reduce the impact on the environment. With the government laying out its agenda to drastically reduce emissions over the coming years, this area is sure to prompt a huge surge in the amount of job opportunities available.
So, if you want to keep the world running smoothly, whether you’re a fossil-fuelled hot-rod or it’s renewable energies that get you up and running, you’re only just ‘downstream’ from a career in petroleum.