Petroleum Refining in Nontechnical Language, 5th Edition

(1 review) Write a Review
Ships within one business day.


For 45 years, William Leffler's Petroleum Refining in Nontechnical Language has been the go-to best seller for anyone needing to know the fundamentals of refining. Fluid prose, easy-to-understand graphics, and helpful analogies (like the "beer bottle principle") make the refining processing schemes clear. Each chapter was carefully written in nontechnical language to give the reader a basic understanding of the refining industry. The book can be used for self-study, as a classroom textbook, or as a quick reference.

As always, Leffler's classic unit-by-unit description follows the oil molecules from the oil patch through the refinery to the consumer. In this edition, the industry's technologic progress is brought up to date. In addition, Leffler adds a new chapter on the impact of hydraulic fracing on oil price setting in refining markets and another on competitive positioning.

Features & Benefits

  • Basic understanding of the refining industry.
  • Overview of key refining topics, using relevant analogies, easy-to-understand graphs, formulas, and illustrations.
  • Exercises at the end of each chapter complete with answers.
  • Excellent resource for self-study, as a classroom textbook, or as a quick reference.


  • Field level personnel
  • Management
  • Students
  • Anyone who seeks to understand how, or relies upon, refined products

About the Author

William L. Leffler earned an MBA and PhD from New York University and a BS from MIT. After a commission in the US Navy, he worked in the oil and gas and petrochemicals industries for 36 years in the US and abroad. Following that, he taught courses in universities and in companies on the upstream, downstream, and petrochemicals for 20 years while pursuing his writing career.

Dr. Leffler is a prolific petroleum industry writer of magazines and books (almost all with the words in Nontechnical Language in the title.) His books (some with co-authors) include this one on refining as well as petrochemicals, deepwater exploration & production, natural gas, pipelines and oil & gas production.

Type: Hardcover
Size: 6 x 9 inches
Pages: 266
Published: April 2020
ISBN: 9781593702809

View Sample

View AllClose

Additional Information

William L. Leffler
View AllClose

1 Review

  • 5

    Great book

    Posted by Scott Evans on 24th May 2020

    Excellent plain language guide to refinery operations. The author manages to take out the jargon and explain things simply without dumbing down the material. I would recommend this to anyone seeking a greater understanding of how refineries work.

View AllClose