Petroleum refineries are not necessarily located nearer to crude oil producing areas, particularly in many developing countries. Explain its implications.

Petroleum occurs naturally beneath the Earth’s surface. It is later refined into various types of fuels. The fractional distillation process separates the components of petroleum. The crude oil is first extracted from the wells which contain impurities. and that is why it needs to be refined. In developing countries, oil refineries are set up away from the crude oil-producing areas.

Benefits

  • The byproducts generated during the refining process are very useful in industries like chemical, pharmaceutical, fertilizer, etc.
  • It helps in additional employment generation and economic development in a particular region.
  • Refineries near the ports enable a country to export the oil to other nations.
  • Petroleum refineries, located nearer to crude oil-producing areas will also allow crude oil from multiple fields.

Drawbacks

  • The transportation of crude oil to large distances will increase environmental pollution and costs.
  • If the refineries and the crude oil-producing areas are located in different states it may create conflict.
  • An abandoned oil-producing area doesn’t attract other industrial investments.

Comment

The location of the refinery located near the market has both pros and cons. It helps in employment generation, economic development, and foreign exchange earning. At the same time, it also creates challenges that need to be addressed carefully.

Question for UPSC Mains:
Petroleum refineries are not necessarily located nearer to crude oil producing areas, particularly in many developing countries. Explain its implications. (250 words)

Published: October 30, 2017 | Modified:September 2, 2020

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