Understanding Upstream cover image

Understanding Upstream

Kaitlyn ColliganKaitlyn Colligan avatar

Kaitlyn Colligan

2 minute read

If you're familiar with the oil and gas industry, you've probably heard the terms upstream, midstream and downstream. But what exactly do they mean? Short answer... they refer to various stages of the oil and gas industry.

While these three stages work together to sustain the flow of fuels and natural materials that contribute to our daily lives, each stage has its own specific purpose and requires different processes and filters to achieve that purpose.

In this article, we will take a look at the filters used during the first stage of the oil and gas industry.


Upstream refers to the earliest points in oil and gas production. This stage involves the exploration and retrieval of the resources. This area of the industry involves all the steps necessary for finding and obtaining oil and natural gas. These steps may include:

  • Geological surveys to identify deposits
  • Land-based drilling
  • Offshore drilling
  • Well construction
  • Extraction of the oil or gas

The primary purpose of the upstream stage is to find and extract the oil or gas from the ground. Once the oil or gas has been extracted, the upstream stage is complete and the midstream companies take over.

Blue icon of oil drilling machinery

Filters used in the field

There are a wide range of filtration products used during the upstream stage of the oil and gas industry. These filters are critical to the performance of upstream processes.

Filter Housings

Filter housings can be found throughout the upstream stage. Examples of the types of housings used during this stage include:


Different types of depth and pleated cartridges are also used during this stage, including:

Filter Bags

Lastly, various types of filter bags are often used during this stage of the oil and gas industry.

A diagram of the three stages of the oil and gas industry with the first stage, upstream, highlighted.

To recap, upstream refers to the primary stage of the oil and gas industry. Upstream processes are the farthest from the end-user consumer. Upstream involves all the activities related to discovering, drilling and extracting crude oil and natural gas resources. A wide range of filtration products are used during this stage including filter housings, cartridges and filter bags. The upstream stage is followed by the midstream and downstream stages.

Filtersource.com, Inc. has the filtration products and technical expertise to meet your production needs for upstream applications.

Contact us for a quote today!

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