The refinery sector still provides jobs directly and indirectly for hundreds of thousands of people in Europe: technicians, researchers and operators who work in the sector, and many more people besides who work for supply companies and in business support sectors such as marketing. In addition, the refinery sector invests continually in improving efficiency, safety, product quality and environmental performance. It is one of the most innovative sectors in terms of processes and products.
Oil-refining is not only important for the transport sector; because it is also responsible for products such as domestic heating oil, bitumen and lubricants, it is vital for many other industries. It also forms the basis for the petrochemical industry. The sector is furthermore extremely important for the European economy; petrochemical basic raw materials for plastics, resins, fibres and lubricants are used in numerous applications.