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09/17/13 at 09:53 AM
Crude oil is a name that has made possible the harnessing of various energies and fuels. It has been a remarkable invention in the history of natural resources found by mankind. This oil is also known as raw oil. It is found in sea beds and rocks, by the decomposition of plant and animals for many years under the surface of the earth. Crude oil aka fossil oil and black gold can be termed as a type of hydrocarbon. This compound is an inflammable liquid, is blackish in color and is drilled out through oil wells and other concentrated areas where it is found in abundance. Most of us mistake oil as one single substance, that is further processed to make the various products that are made from it. Whereas the fact is that, this raw oil, has a varied appearance and thickness. This also means that there is a difference in color, odor, properties, molecular structure and quality. This difference is due to the different locations of oil fields all over the globe. Depending on the oil, that is its quality considering all aspects, it is classified for extracting specific products like gasoline, petroleum and other oils. We have compiled some facts on the different types of crude oil, let us take a look.

Different Types of Crude Oil

Crude oil is particularly classified in types, by the content of sulfur and the density of the oil. These standards are set by the American Petroleum Institute, (API). According to the API, the gravity of the oil signifies the density. Oils with a gravity of more than 40 degrees, is considered as lighter oil, while oil with a gravity of less than 20 degrees is considered as heavy oil. Crude oil that has a gravity between 20 and 40 degrees is termed as moderate oil. Sulfur content defines the purity of oil. It is also a factor that tags the oil as sweet or sour. Sulfur is an acid and more amount of sulfur in the oil, terms the oil as sour and less amount of sulfur terms the oil as sweet.

Brent Blend
The name is derived from the geographical location it is extracted from. This blend has oils pouring from many oil fields from the north sea. This is termed as sweet, with 0.37% sulfur, and a density of 38.06 degrees. It is thus considered as light crude oil, which is mainly used to make petroleum and gasoline. Most of it is traded to the United States and Mediterranean countries.

West Texas Intermediate
This oil has low amounts of sulfur and density. The sulfur content is 0.24% and the gravity or density is 39.6 degrees. This oil can be termed as sweet and light crude oil. This is considered as a very fine quality of oil that can be refined to gasoline. This refining is done mostly in Gulf regions and the United states, due to the convenient location of the oil. Another interesting fact is that this oil also known as WTI, which is considered the bench mark for oil prices.

Russian Export Blend
This oil has been the bench mark for Russian crude oil. It has a density of 32 degrees and the sulfur content is 1.2%. This makes it a sour type of oil due to the high amount of sulfur. Due to the gravity of this oil it is termed as medium density crude oil. The price for this oil is generally staged at the two major locations of delivery, which are Italy and Netherlands.

Dubai Crude
As the name suggests this oil comes from one of the largest oil producing countries in the world. The oil that is produced here is light in density, with a gravity of 31 degrees and a sulfur content of 2%. This oil is the bench mark for pricing oil that is exported in Asia.

These were the major types of crude oil in the world. The specific type of oil helps in planning of further distillation and production of different products. Crude oil forms a very important natural resource, and with its varied types and uses, it sure makes value worth a treasure!

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