I finally got my oil rig in Minecraft/Gregtech 5U up and running, basic conversion of heavy oil to oil done, the output hooked to my nitro diesel and plastic production, and a regulator set up so the plastic production uses a fixed amount of oil every time I press a button. The regulator’s necessary because otherwise the plastic line would eat oil until the output chest filled up with slabs of plastic.
Come to think of it, it would probably be better to work out some sort of system where the output chest regulates the oil intake. I.e. it stops demanding oil when there are 2 full stacks of 64, and the assembler that uses molten plastic is full. That’d be fully automated. I’m not sure it’s worth the effort yet.
I’m still hand-carrying containers of unrefined oil from the rig to my base. I’ve got an electric track laid out, but the signaling isn’t done, and I haven’t built any electric locomotives yet. Currently the holding tank at the oil rig has 800 buckets of Heavy Oil in it. That’s as much as I’d get from mining 1,600 oilsand blocks, or 25 stacks. Supposedly the reserve has another 21,000 buckets in it, at which point I’ll need to move the rig to the next chunk, or set up a second rig when the current one starts slowing to a trickle.
This should keep me supplied for a while, though. I think my typical oilsand run was about 25-30 stacks, and I’ve done maybe 4 of those since I started. Maybe 6,000 buckets of oil since I started playing? I haven’t been keeping careful track. Demand’s going to go up as I make more high-energy machinery.
At some point I’ll set up a distillation tower. Right now I’m using basic distilleries. A distillation tower is kinda-sorta 4x as efficient. A basic distillery makes one product at a time from oil: refinery gas, sulfuric naphtha, sulfuric light fuel, or sulfuric heavy fuel. A distillation tower makes all of them at once from the same oil. So instead of 100 sulfuric light fuel from 100 oil, I get 120 gas, 40 naphtha, 100 light fuel, and 30 heavy fuel.
It’s “sort of” 4x as efficient because not all the products have equal utility, and I don’t have the facilities to use anything but light fuel and naphtha yet. Gas gets turned into liquid propane, which I need to make teflon or I can burn it for energy. Heavy fuel’s kind of screwy. It can’t be burned in diesel engines directly, or converted easily to diesel, which would make sense. It can converted into gas for propane, light fuel for nitro diesel, or toluene for TNT.
That’s long term, since distillation towers require titantium, teflon, and some electronics I can’t build yet. Smelting titanium’s a big project in itself.