Economics of Refining for Traders

This three-day course explores the main processes in a refinery, their capabilities, and their constraints. The course will build an understanding of crude oil selection and the effects of crude quality on key properties of intermediate and finished products; delegates will also learn to identify the value and opportunities presented by quality slacks. The course balances formal lectures with team exercises , emphasizing the commercial aspects of the interaction between refinery activity and international oil trading.

Working in teams, delegates will discover key trading profit opportunities through a Processing Deal at a fictional refinery. The Deal has the advantage of enabling this highly flexible complex refinery to run at near capacity, while highlighting the ways in which the capabilities of its hardware and the qualities of its product pools generate opportunities for making additional profits. The delegates’ ability to identify, evaluate, and fully exploit these opportunities will provide additional gains to the refinery. Throughout the exercises, delegates will benefit from comprehensive debriefs to study the consequences of their decisions.

Additional information

Program Type



Dates to be announced


Who Should Attend

This program will benefit those in trading and other commercial activities who need a greater understanding of the limits and constraints of a refinery, those in the refinery sector who interface with commercial activities, and those interested in a better understanding of the synergies between commercial and refining.

Lecture Sessions

Crude Oil

  • Crude Oil Evaluation
  • Crude Oil Selection
  • Blending
  • Specialty Crudes
  • Problem Crudes


  • Refinery Configurations
  • Capabilities of Key Refinery Processes
  • Capacity Constraints
  • Cost of Crude Changeover and Reprocessing
  • Refinery Operating Costs
  • Comparison of Crude Oil and Fuel Oil Feedstocks
  • Petrochemical Return Streams
  • Operating Costs


  • Refinery Scheduling

Oil Products

  • Oil Testing Methods
  • Key Quality Parameters
  • Gasoline
  • Jet Fuel and Kerosene
  • Gasoil
  • Residual Fuel Oil
  • Product Blending
  • Additives

Processing Deals

  • Constructing a Processing Deal
  • Valuing Oil Products