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Oil and Gas Industry: A Research Guide

Midstream: Transportation

Penn Oil & Truck. ca. 1920. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The midstream sector covers transportation, storage, and trading of crude oil, natural gas, and refined products. In its unrefined state, crude oil is transported by two primary modes: tankers, which travel interregional water routes, and pipelines, which most of the oil moves through for at least part of the route. Once the oil has been extracted and separated from natural gas, pipelines transport the products to another carrier or directly to a refinery. Petroleum products then travel from the refinery to market by tanker, truck, railroad car, or more pipelines. Tankers deliver petroleum by transporting oil and refined products from other countries to the U.S. to make up the difference between domestic products and demand. Tankers also transport oil along the Gulf coast. The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act, heavily impacts the transportation industry, as it requires vessels that transport cargo from one U.S. port to another U.S. port must be built in the United States, and majority owned and operated by United States citizens or permanent residents. 

See more information and resources on Modes of Transportation and Storage in this guide.

Midstream Industry Codes

The North American Industry Classification System is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy. Codes start with two-digits at the broadest industry level, and become more specific at the six-digit level. Mexico, Canada and United States data is comparable at the five-digit code level. Other region, country, and organization-specific industry codes exist for data tracking purposes. Knowing how a particular industry or a company within an industry is classified can help when researching, since information is often organized within these codes.

2212 Natural Gas Distribution
221210 Natural Gas Distribution
237120 Oil and Gas Pipeline and Related Structures Construction
484220 Specialized Freight (except Used Goods) Trucking, Local
484230 Specialized Freight (except Used Goods) Trucking, Long-Distance
486 Pipeline Transportation
4861 Pipeline Transportation of Crude Oil
486110 Pipeline Transportation of Crude Oil
4862 Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas
486210 Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas
4869 Other Pipeline Transportation
486910 Pipeline Transportation of Refined Petroleum Products
486990 All Other Pipeline Transportation
493190 Other Warehousing and Storage (bulk petroleum storage)

Library of Congress Catalog Searches

Additional works on oil and gas transportation and storage in the Library of Congress may be identified by searching the Library of Congress Online Catalog under appropriate subject headings. Choose the topics you wish to search from the following list of Library of Congress subject headings to link directly to the Catalog and automatically execute a search for the subject selected. For assistance in locating the many other subject headings which relate to this subject, please consult a reference librarian.