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Oil processing

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Oil processing is a large part of Factorio. Oil processing may refer to the researched technology, the recipe used in the oil refinery, or the overall workings of oil.

Overview

There are various recipes that can be used to process crude oil into its fractions. Its fraction (heavy oil, light oil and petroleum gas) can also be cracked into each other. Their recipes and technology requirements can be seen below.

Process Input Output Machine Required technology
Basic oil processing.png
Basic oil processing
Time icon.png
5
+
Crude oil.png
100
Heavy oil.png
30
+
Light oil.png
30
+
Petroleum gas.png
40
Oil refinery.png
Oil processing (research).png
Oil processing
Advanced oil processing.png
Advanced oil processing
Time icon.png
5
+
Crude oil.png
100
+
Water.png
50
Heavy oil.png
10
+
Light oil.png
45
+
Petroleum gas.png
55
Oil refinery.png
Advanced oil processing (research).png
Advanced oil processing
Heavy oil cracking.png
Heavy oil cracking
Time icon.png
3
+
Heavy oil.png
40
+
Water.png
30
Light oil.png
30
Chemical plant.png
Advanced oil processing (research).png
Advanced oil processing
Light oil cracking.png
Light oil cracking
Time icon.png
3
+
Light oil.png
30
+
Water.png
30
Petroleum gas.png
20
Chemical plant.png
Advanced oil processing (research).png
Advanced oil processing
Coal liquefaction.png
Coal liquefaction
Time icon.png
5
+
Coal.png
10
+
Heavy oil.png
25
+
Steam.png
50
Heavy oil.png
35
+
Light oil.png
15
+
Petroleum gas.png
20
Oil refinery.png
Coal liquefaction.png
Coal liquefaction

Setting up oil processing

Pumpjacks need to be placed on top of the middle of the oil well, which is highlighted with a green box when the pumpjack is held. Pumpjacks produce a certain amount of Crude oil per second, shown on the right, at the bottom of the information panel. Over time this value will decrease down to a minimum of 2 oil/s, so a pumpjack will provide unlimited oil but eventually at a very low rate.

Crude oil must be refined in an oil refinery. The oil refinery needs to have a recipe set (see above for available recipes). Once it is set and "alt-mode" is active, the input and output locations and the expected fluids are shown. The locations of these cannot be changed, only the entire machine can be rotated. The refinery will stop production of all products if one product output is full, so it should be ensured that the products are transported out of the refinery; any products that cannot be used should be (temporarily) stored in a storage tank.

Once the process finishes, the player will be left with 3 products: heavy oil, light oil and petroleum gas. Both heavy oil and light oil can be cracked to the next lower type in a chemical plant (recipe above). This is useful if the player has an abundance of one product, but is lacking another (a common problem).

Tips

  • The circuit network can be used to easily control how much fluid gets used for each recipe, to ensure that the player always has enough. For examples on how to do this, see the circuit-network cookbook.
  • If you run your heavy oil pipe from the refineries past a lubricant-making chemical plant before sending it to the cracking chemical plants, you can be sure that the lubricant production will have priority over cracking.
  • Solid fuel is most efficient when created from light oil. If the player has too much heavy oil, cracking it to light oil then making it into fuel is more efficient than making heavy oil into fuel directly.

Transporting fluids

There are many ways to move fluids in Factorio, they are listed below:

Optimal Ratios

The optimal ratio is the ratio of production that ensures no waste of time or materials.

Petroleum gas production

For producing petroleum gas, the optimal advanced oil processing ratio is 25:3:21 (advanced oil processing : heavy oil cracking : light oil cracking). Simpler ratios are possible that are most likely close enough, such as 8:1:7. Using coal liquefaction, the ratio is 25:3:9 (coal liquefaction : heavy oil cracking : light oil cracking), and 8:1:3 is close enough.

The refining can be sped up with modules; to prevent jams or inactive buildings it is recommended to speed everything up evenly. When slowing the process down (by using productivity modules) you are better off experimenting on altering the ratio or the speed on certain buildings, since the default ratios given above only hold if all the structures involved run at the same speed and have 100% productivity (in other words, no bonuses).

Calculating the optimal ratios is relatively challenging, since not all of the durations of the processes are the same (the crafting speed of a chemical plant is 1.25, but the refinery's is 1.0). If this were not taken into account, it would lead to (temporarily) inactive buildings, which is not optimal. The table below shows examples of these calculations for various module configurations.

Petroleum production output with modules
Module configuration None Config 1 (*) Config 2 Units
Oil refinery
Crude oil consumption 100 100 100
Water consumption 50 50 50
Crafting speed 5 5 5 s / final item
Heavy oil output 10 10 10
Light oil output 45 45 45
Petroleum output 55 55 55
Base machine crafting speed 1 1 1 crafts / s
Crafting speed multiplier 100% 455% 855%
Output multiplier 100% 130% 130% final items
Total Crude oil consumption 20 91 171 per second
Total Water consumption 10 45.5 85.5 per second
Total Heavy oil output 2 11.83 22.23 per second
Total Light oil output 9 53.235 100.035 per second
Total Petroleum output 11 65.065 122.265 per second
Heavy oil cracking
Heavy oil consumption 40 40 40
Water consumption 30 30 30
Crafting speed 3 3 3 s / final item
Light oil output 30 30 30
Base machine crafting speed 1.25 1.25 1.25 crafts / s
Crafting speed multiplier 100% 455% 655%
Output multiplier 100% 130% 130% final items
Total Heavy oil consumption 16.67 75.83 109.17 per second
Total Water consumption 12.5 56.88 81.88 per second
Total Light oil output 12.5 73.94 106.44 per second
Light oil cracking
Light oil consumption 30 30 30
Water consumption 30 30 30
Crafting speed 3 3 3 s / final item
Petroleum output 20 20 20
Base machine crafting speed 1.25 1.25 1.25 crafts / s
Crafting speed multiplier 100% 455% 655%
Output multiplier 100% 130% 130% final items
Total Light oil consumption 12.5 56.875 81.875 per second
Total Water consumption 12.5 56.875 81.875 per second
Total Petroleum output 8.33 49.29 70.96 per second
Ratio
Heavy oil cracking 0.12 0.156 0.204
Light oil cracking 0.84 1.139 1.487
Output 18 121.198 227.746 per second
* Notes to table: Config 1 is 3 Productivity modules 3 in each production building and 8 Beacons with 2 Speed modules 3 each in range of each production building. Config 2 is 3 Productivity modules 3 in each production building and the highest achievable number of Beacons (16 for Refinery, 12 for Chemical plant) with 2 Speed modules 3 each in range of each prod. building.

See also