The UK’s downstream oil industry brings major economic benefits

Stephen Marcos Jones, UKPIA director-general

According to a new study released earlier this week, the downstream oil sector provides major economic benefits across the UK.

Independent findings in the Oxford Economics report ‘The economic contribution of the UK downstream oil sector’ – commissioned by trade association, the UK Petroleum Industry Association (UKPIA) – underscore the industry’s central economic importance, both in terms of direct value and security of the national energy supply.

The downstream oil sector encompasses a wide range of companies involved in the production, import, distribution and sale of refined products, including the UK’s refineries, storage terminals, pipelines and filling stations. Conclusions from the report include that the sector’s annual contribution to UK GDP is £21.2 billion, with 300,000 jobs supported by the industry, with every job in the sector supporting a further 1.4 jobs elsewhere in the economy. As the UK faces an ongoing productivity challenge, it was also found that the sector is 29% above the national average in terms of efficiency of output.

“Be it highly-skilled careers or tax receipts, to the way our products enable all other major sectors of the economy to grow, the downstream oil sector has a vital part to play in keeping the UK economy moving,” said Stephen Marcos Jones, UKPIA director-general.

As society looks for ways to develop low carbon solutions to reduce global emissions, we believe that the downstream oil sector can continue to deliver significant reductions in emissions as well as enable others to work towards a sustainable, just and orderly low-carbon economy.

“This report marks the first of a number of studies we will be publishing in 2019, as part of UKPIA’s Future Vision, demonstrating that the downstream oil sector has an essential role not only now, but in the decades to come.”

The economic contribution of the UK downstream oil sector report is available at or in hard copy on request from the UKPIA press office.

UKPIA represents eight oil refining and marketing companies that operate the six major oil refineries in the UK and source over 85% of the transport fuels used. UKPIA members also own around 1,250 of the UK’s 8,476 filling stations in the UK.

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