The oil industry has two streams; upstream, midstream and downstream. Upstream refers to the extraction and production of crude oil. Midstream refers to refining, transportation and wholesale marketing of crude and refined oil products. The downstream refers to the transportation and marketing of end user products. South Africa ventures mostly in the downstream as it has very little reserves crude oil reserves of its own.
(Source: Department of Energy RSA
, Petroleum value chain, M. Sinthumule)
South Africa has limited oil reserves as a result 95% of South Africa's crude oil comes from imports.
Liquid fuels are distributed using pipelines and rail, road and sea cargo. The liquid fuels are transported from the production point to depots, service stations and to direct consumers.
There is a number of organisations in the industry which operate bulk storage terminals and distribution facilities throughout the country.
Marketing and retailing of end user petroleum products e.g. diesel, petrol and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is done mostly by service stations.