Upstream vs. Midstream vs. Downstream Software: Understanding the Difference

A3Logics 18 Aug 2022

Oil & Gas industry has been an integral part of infrastructure and economy for years. No matter what country you are in, this sector is essential for a smooth modern society. The products delivered by oil & gas companies have enormous demands across various sectors for varied purposes, including commerce, commercial, domestic, retail, and more. If you look at the trends of this industry, you can clearly determine that they are influenced by economic factors, government regulations, geopolitics, technological advancements, and many other global forces. 

Before you step into the sector and seek oil and gas software solutions for your company, there are certain things that you must know. There are several complicated jargon that you must be aware of, different software systems that will be critical to your business, and whatnot. Also, the long supply chain, be it production or distribution, that starts with ground exploration and ends with the final customer needs your attention too. After all, you are a part of this sector, and understanding its essential elements and nature will contribute to your success.

So, today we are going to talk about Upstream, Midstream, and Downstream – three essential terms often confused and misunderstood by many. So without further ado, let’s get acquainted with each of them:


Upstream refers to the exploration and production section of natural resources. It includes all activities related to searching, discovering, recovering, and producing crude oil and natural gas from underground fields. Using geologic surveys and gathered information, companies locate specific areas where the chances of finding minerals are high. The process is called exploration and also covers the drilling of exploratory wells and bringing natural gas to the surface, which is known as production. 

With technological changes, the upstream looks for skilled and proficient workers who can work on the latest software to give the best results. We, as leading IT consultation services providers offer upstream automated solutions for the oil and gas industry that will take care of all your tasks involved in this section. The upstream industry involves trillions of dollars every year, and over $7 billion are lost due to the non-productive time of the engineers who invest almost 60-70% of their time in evaluating and manipulating data. Also, considering the restricted data management abilities of companies, the scope of data is limited.

The oil and gas sector deals with more than 50,000 wells, and manual inspection only adds to the long working hours and massive workforce without ensuring higher chances of better fortune. Any machine malfunction is a well will only slow down the production process and result in non-compliance. Hence, IoT solutions empowered by analytics allow upstream solutions to keep a tab on oil extraction performance and process from a remote location in real-time. Through software integration services companies can integrate the latest technologies to transform the maintenance process by converting it into a proactive one.  It enhances equipment maintenance practice involved in off-shore and on-shore exploration. The companies can have all the required data and facts instantly to get an insight into their equipment. Based on the information, they can schedule tasks and eliminate the chances of a sudden breakdown. 

The software solutions offered here are:

  • Lease Acquisition
  • Accounting
  • Land and Lease Management System Software
  • Field Service Management Software
  • Reservoir Management Software Services
  • GIS Mapping and Integrations


The Midstream segment includes transporting and storing crude oil and natural gas. It is a step before the gas is refined and processed into fuels or any other element that is required to make products. The section overlaps both upstream and downstream systems and is often left out of many major discussions. It also refers to pipelines and infrastructure needed to move the resources to long distances, such as tank trucks, pumping stations, transcontinental tankers, tank cars, etc. 

Our enterprise software development service for the midstream system manages operations of processing, transportation, storing, and marketing of crude oil. As the companies need to transfer oil from one location to another via pipelines, there is a constant threat from oil thieves who use drills and taps to extract oil illegally. If the latest statistics are to be believed, then the US records a $10 billion loss due to crude oil theft and leaks. With midstream solutions, you can witness a considerable improvement in the pipeline’s safety.

The automated software is designed to measure the pressure of crude oil in the pipeline. As long as there is no leak or theft, the pressure will remain constant, allowing you to keep an eye on transportation. Any change in the pressure within two subsequent flows indicates probable leak or theft in the pipeline, and the company can instantly check the issue. 

The smart meters will certainly add to your company’s reliability and generate data about volumes collected via an integrated network. 

The software tools you can avail are:

  • Pipeline Performance Tracking System (PPTS)
  • Oil & Gas Pipeline Management System Solutions
  • LNG Management
  • Oil & Gas Automation Software Services
  • Crude Management
  • Oil & Gas Transportation Management Systems


Downstream is the final sector of the oil and gas industry. It covers all the steps of turning crude oil and natural gas into the final products that consumers depend on in their daily lives. Some common examples are diesel, heating oil, gasoline, kerosene, asphalt, heating oils, etc. there are long-chain hydrocarbons as well that are used to make some uncommon products, such as fertilizers, containers, synthetic, plastics, rubbers, preservatives, and more. Apart from this, fibers, dyes, paints, and many other products have some manufacturing connection with oil and natural gas.