Sectors of industry
An OPITO case study

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Page 2: Sectors of industry

The economy is divided into three sectors:

  • The primary sector involves the extraction of raw materials and natural resources. Examples of this are farming and mining, as well as the extraction of oil and gas.
  • The secondary sector turns these raw materials into products. Manufacturing and Construction are secondary sector industries. In the case of Oil & Gas this involves the processes from refining to delivery of fuel at the petrol pump. The production of oil and synthetic petroleum products such as lubrication oils and plastics also fall into this sector.
  • The tertiary sector is also known as the service sector. Firms in this sector provide services to other businesses and consumers.

Chain of production

Goods move through a chain of production. This follows the goods from the extraction stage, through manufacturing into finished products and then on to the consumer. Each stage gives added value to the product. The oil and gas industry has a related supply chain. In reality, its upstream and downstream processes run across the three sectors. An example of tertiary sector activity would be the wholesale (business-to-business) and retail (business-to-consumer) trading of oil and gas.

The UK economy has changed over the last 200 years. In the 19th century the economic activity was mostly primary. In the early 20th century, the focus changed to manufacturing. In recent times, the UK economy has become more of a service economy. The service sector now contributes three quarters of the UK's GDP. However the oil and gas industry is still a major contributor to the UK economy. The production of oil and gas will continue to provide 70% of the UK's energy needs for the next decade.It supports nearly half a million jobs in the UK and generates around £40 billion per year in revenues.

Oil & Gas offers diversity of employment opportunities in the UK and around the world for those interested in technical, engineering and scientific careers, such as geology, architecture, design and IT. It also provides opportunities in more creative roles in a wide range of business-related disciplines such as law, accountancy, sales & marketing, supply chain, HR and administration.

OPITO | Sectors of industry