Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
In energy companies, relating to exploration and production operations. For example, an oil company's operations related to discovering new oil reserves and the pumping of new oil from the ground are considered upstream. Upstream operations may also include initial operations like political risk analysis. Some companies provide upstream operations exclusively, but most are integrated, providing both upstream and downstream operations.
Of or relating to earnings or operations at a firm that are near or at the initial stages of producing a good or service. For example, exploration and production are upstream operations for a large integrated oil company. Compare downstream.