Another interesting way that optimization can be seen applied is in the oil industry. American oil refineries are scrambling to fix bottle necks in their systems in order to maximize profit and production.
Most refineries are running at almost-full capacity. Some are at 98% and the demand for oil doesn't appear to be decreasing even with higher prices. Some question the possibility of building new rifineries because of the cost and environmental regulations. Optimization will help them decide on how to overcome the capacity squeeze facing the restraints involved in oil production such as inventory and supply of raw material.