Economics of the Oil Supply Chain

During this five-day program, delegates explore the various activities of an oil company and the economic forces driving the oil supply chain. They will also learn the main areas of risk and opportunity from the crude oil supply terminal, through transportation, refining, and international trading to the refined product distribution terminal.

Through exercises carried out in teams in a fictional refinery, delegates learn the quality aspects of product supply, refinery process economics, and the effects of upgrading. They will examine blending as a means to meet quality requirements at optimal cost and construct a processing deal. Additionally, the program provides an overview of international markets, trading, and different methods of price risk management.

This program is an essential foundation for people entering the oil industry or for those with single-function experience looking to broaden their knowledge. It also forms the basic building block for the other Invincible courses. Numerous exercises are carried out in teams, with comprehensive debriefs studying the consequences of the decisions reached.

Additional information

Program Type

Who Should Attend

This course will benefit those new to the oil industry or moving into the commercial area from the upstream or downstream sectors. The program is also of interest to those who interface with the commercial aspects of the oil industry such as banks, accountancy practices, and other organizations.

Lecture Sessions

Oil Fundamentals

  • Oil price history
  • World supply and demand
  • Structure of world markets
  • Price formation and reporting

Crude Oil

  • Types of crude oil
  • Evaluation of crude oils
  • Crude oil markets
  • Crude oil pricing

Oil Refining

  • Distillation and reforming
  • Treating and conversion
  • Cracking
  • Refinery economics and optimization
  • Blending
  • Refinery margins


  • Scheduling oil supplies
  • Stocks and storage
  • Losses
  • Inland distribution

Oil Products

  • Refined product quality and specifications
  • Value of quality
  • Downstream marketing


  • Oil tankers
  • Freight and Worldscale
  • Chartering a ship
  • Pipelines

Markets and Trading

  • International oil trading
  • Mechanics of trading
  • Contracts for sale and purchase
  • Costs of trading


  • Processing deals

Price Risk Management

  • Identifying exposure
  • Futures
  • Swaps
  • Basic hedging techniques