Oil Field Applications

American Piping Products serves the oil & gas industry with a full range of pipe and tubing for upstream, downstream and downstream applications.

American Piping Products stocks material that stands up to the harshest oil & gas applications, from the wellhead to the refinery. Our procurement team aggressively sources products both domestically and internationally from ISO certified mills. Traceability is maintained throughout the supply chain, and American Piping Products is certified to ISO 9001:2008 standards.

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Common Oil & Gas Applications

In the oil and gas industry, steel pipe and tubing is extensively used for various purposes in exploration, production, transportation, and refining processes. Here are some common uses of pipes in the oil and gas industry:

1. Drilling: Pipes, known as drill pipes, are used in the drilling process to create boreholes. Drill pipes are connected together and inserted into the wellbore, allowing the drilling fluid to circulate and providing a pathway for the drill bit to reach the desired depth.

2. Production: Once a well has been drilled, production tubing or casing is used to extract oil or gas from the reservoir. Production tubing is typically smaller in diameter and is installed inside the casing to transport the hydrocarbons to the surface.

3. Transportation: Pipes are crucial for transporting oil, gas, and related products over long distances. Large-diameter pipelines, known as transmission pipelines, are used to transport crude oil, natural gas, and refined products from production fields to refineries, processing plants, and distribution centers.

4. Gathering and Distribution: In addition to transmission pipelines, smaller pipelines called gathering lines are used to collect oil and gas from multiple wells in a field and transport them to a central processing facility. Distribution pipelines then carry the refined products, such as gasoline, diesel, and natural gas, to end users like homes, businesses, and industrial facilities.

5. Refining and Processing: Inside refineries and processing plants, pipes play a critical role in transporting crude oil and intermediate products between various refining units, such as distillation columns, cracking units, and storage tanks. These pipes help maintain the continuous flow of materials throughout the refining and processing operations.

6. Injection and Enhanced Recovery: Pipes are used for injecting fluids, such as water or gas, into oil and gas reservoirs to enhance production through methods like water flooding or gas injection. Injection wells are equipped with pipes to deliver the injected fluids underground.

7. Offshore Applications: In offshore oil and gas operations, pipes are used extensively for subsea production systems, pipelines, and risers. Subsea pipelines transport oil and gas from offshore production facilities to onshore or floating storage units.

It’s important to note that pipe and tubing used in the oil and gas industry are typically made of high-strength steel or other corrosion-resistant materials to withstand the harsh operating conditions, pressure, and corrosive substances encountered during production, transportation, and processing.


In the oil and gas industry, “upstream” refers to the exploration and production activities involved in extracting oil and natural gas from the earth. It encompasses all the processes that take place before the actual extraction and delivery of the resources. The upstream sector involves locating potential oil and gas reserves, drilling exploratory wells, and developing the necessary infrastructure to extract and transport the resources to the surface.

Some of the key activities in the upstream sector include seismic surveys to identify potential hydrocarbon deposits, drilling wells to reach the reservoirs, and implementing technologies to extract the oil and gas. This sector also involves the evaluation of reservoir characteristics, such as volume, pressure, and composition, to determine the viability and economic potential of the reserves.

Companies operating in the upstream sector are commonly referred to as exploration and production (E&P) companies. They invest significant capital and employ specialized technologies and expertise to explore for and extract oil and gas reserves from the ground or underwater. Once the resources are extracted, they are typically transported to downstream operations, which include refining, processing, and distribution activities.


In the oil and gas industry, the term “midstream” refers to the segment of the industry involved in the transportation, storage, and wholesale marketing of crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids (NGLs). It sits between the upstream sector (exploration and production) and the downstream sector (refining and marketing).

The midstream activities primarily focus on the infrastructure and logistics required to transport oil, gas, and NGLs from the extraction sites to refineries, processing plants, and end users. These activities typically include:

  1. 1. Gathering and Transportation: Midstream companies are responsible for collecting crude oil, natural gas, and NGLs from various production sources, such as wells or fields, and transporting them via pipelines, trucks, or tankers to processing facilities or storage locations.
  2. 2. Storage: Midstream operations involve the construction and management of storage facilities such as tanks, terminals, and underground caverns. These facilities store crude oil, natural gas, and NGLs until they can be transported or processed further.
  3. 3. Processing and Treatment: In some cases, midstream companies are involved in processing natural gas or NGLs to remove impurities and separate them into different components for sale or further transportation.
  4. 4. Marketing and Trading: Midstream entities often engage in the wholesale marketing and trading of oil, gas, and NGLs. They negotiate contracts, pricing, and transportation arrangements with producers, refineries, and other market participants.
  5. 5. Pipeline Operations: Midstream companies maintain and operate pipeline networks that span vast distances to transport oil, gas, and NGLs efficiently. This includes monitoring pipeline integrity, managing flow rates, and ensuring the safe and reliable transport of products.

The midstream sector plays a crucial role in the overall oil and gas industry by facilitating the movement of resources from production sites to end consumers or downstream refineries. It enables the efficient and reliable transportation, storage, and distribution of these energy commodities.


In the oil and gas industry, the term “downstream” refers to the sector involved in the refining, processing, distribution, and marketing of petroleum products. It encompasses activities that take place after the production of crude oil and natural gas.

The downstream sector focuses on converting crude oil into various refined products such as gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, lubricants, and chemicals. This involves refining processes, such as distillation, cracking, and blending, to separate and transform the different components of crude oil into valuable end products.

Once the petroleum products are refined, they are then distributed and marketed to end consumers through various channels, including pipelines, tankers, trucks, and retail outlets such as gas stations. Downstream activities also involve storage and transportation logistics to ensure a reliable supply chain for the products.

Key players in the downstream sector include oil refineries, petrochemical plants, storage terminals, distribution companies, and retail service stations. These entities work together to meet the demand for refined petroleum products and deliver them to consumers efficiently.