Refinery Operation Insights

Refinery Operation Insights
At Nomad Data we help you find the right dataset to address these types of needs and more. Submit your free data request describing your business use case and you'll be connected with data providers from our over
partners who can address your exact need.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
At Nomad Data we help you find the right dataset to address these types of needs and more. Sign up today and describe your business use case and you'll be connected with data vendors from our nearly 3000 partners who can address your exact need.


In the realm of energy production and refining, understanding the intricacies of refinery operations, including operating rates and uptime, is crucial for stakeholders across the globe. Historically, gaining insights into these aspects of the energy sector was a daunting task. Before the digital revolution, firms relied on manual data collection methods, such as field reports and direct communication with refinery operators, to gauge the performance of refineries. These antiquated methods were not only time-consuming but also prone to inaccuracies, leaving businesses and analysts in the dark about real-time changes in refinery operations.

The advent of sensors, the internet, and connected devices has dramatically transformed how data is collected and analyzed in the energy sector. Previously, stakeholders had to wait weeks or even months to understand shifts in refinery operations. Now, thanks to technological advancements, data can be gathered and analyzed in real-time, providing immediate insights into refinery performance. This shift towards digital data collection has been further accelerated by the proliferation of software and databases designed to store and manage vast amounts of operational data.

The importance of data in understanding refinery operations cannot be overstated. With access to accurate and timely data, businesses, analysts, and policymakers can make informed decisions that impact the global energy landscape. This article will explore various categories of data that can shed light on refinery operations, offering insights into how these data types have evolved and how they can be utilized to gain a deeper understanding of refinery performance.

Financial Data

Financial data has long been a cornerstone for analyzing the energy sector. This category includes market data, oil price assessments, and risk valuation inputs, which are essential for understanding the economic aspects of refinery operations. The evolution of financial data collection has been significantly influenced by technological advancements, allowing for the automated delivery of complex datasets directly into analytical models.

Examples of Financial Data:

  • Market Data: Provides access to global crude oil and refined oil industry prices.
  • Forward Curves: Offers risk valuation inputs to support financial disclosures and risk management.
  • Oil Inventory Data: Includes recent and historical data on crude and refined products, focusing on key regions such as the US and China.

Financial data is invaluable for stakeholders looking to understand the economic forces driving refinery operations. By analyzing this data, businesses can make informed decisions regarding investment, risk management, and operational strategies.

Satellite Data

Satellite data has emerged as a powerful tool for monitoring refinery operations from space. This category of data offers unparalleled insights into the physical aspects of refineries, such as storage capacity and operational status. The use of satellite imagery and remote sensing technology has enabled the collection of real-time data on refinery operations, providing a bird's-eye view of the global energy landscape.

Examples of Satellite Data:

  • Monitoring of storage tanks and operational facilities.
  • Tracking of refinery expansions and contractions.
  • Assessment of global refinery capacity and utilization rates.

Satellite data is particularly useful for tracking changes in refinery operations that may not be immediately apparent from ground-level observations. This data type allows analysts to quickly identify trends and anomalies in refinery performance, facilitating timely decision-making.

Geolocation Data

Geolocation data provides insights into the movement of goods and personnel within and around refineries. This category includes data on foot traffic, truck traffic, and the supply chain dynamics of the energy sector. The advent of GPS technology and mobile devices has greatly enhanced the collection and analysis of geolocation data, offering a granular view of refinery operations.

Examples of Geolocation Data:

  • Foot traffic analysis to gauge refinery activity levels.
  • Truck traffic monitoring to understand supply chain efficiency.
  • Custom location tracking for specialized analysis of refinery operations.

Geolocation data is essential for understanding the logistical aspects of refinery operations. By analyzing this data, stakeholders can optimize supply chains, improve operational efficiency, and enhance safety protocols.

Energy Data

Energy data encompasses a wide range of information related to refinery operations, including crude inputs, product outputs, and refinery demand volumes. This category of data is critical for constructing accurate models of the energy market and understanding the operational dynamics of refineries. The collection of energy data has been revolutionized by digital technologies, enabling the aggregation of vast datasets from refineries across the globe.

Examples of Energy Data:

  • Daily refinery-level API feed with data on crude inputs and product outputs.
  • Independent calculation of refinery crude demand volumes.
  • Weekly reports providing insights into real-time market events.

Energy data is a vital resource for stakeholders seeking to understand the technical and operational aspects of refinery performance. By leveraging this data, businesses can enhance their operational strategies, improve efficiency, and respond more effectively to market changes.


The importance of data in understanding refinery operations cannot be overstated. As the energy sector continues to evolve, access to diverse types of data will be crucial for stakeholders seeking to navigate the complex landscape of refinery operations. The categories of data discussed in this article—financial, satellite, geolocation, and energy data—offer valuable insights into the economic, physical, logistical, and operational aspects of refineries.

Organizations that embrace a data-driven approach to decision-making will be better positioned to understand the nuances of refinery operations and make informed decisions that enhance their competitive edge. As the digital revolution continues to unfold, the future of data collection and analysis in the energy sector looks promising. New types of data, enabled by advancements in technology, will likely emerge, offering even deeper insights into refinery operations and the global energy market.


The transformation of the energy sector through data has implications for a wide range of roles and industries. Investors, consultants, insurance companies, market researchers, and market analysts stand to benefit significantly from access to comprehensive data on refinery operations. The insights gained from this data can inform investment decisions, operational strategies, risk assessments, and market analyses.

The future of data in the energy sector is closely tied to advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. These technologies have the potential to unlock the value hidden in decades-old documents and modern government filings, providing unprecedented insights into refinery operations and the broader energy market. As the sector continues to evolve, the role of data in shaping the future of energy refining and production will only grow in importance.

Learn More