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Crude Oil

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Definition of Crude Oil

  • Crude oil is a naturally occurring petroleum product composed of hydrocarbon deposits and other organic materials.
  • Crude oil is refined to produce usable products including gasoline, diesel, and various other forms of petrochemicals.
  • It is a nonrenewable resource, which means that it can’t be replaced naturally and is, therefore, a limited resource.
  • A complex combination of hydrocarbons consisting predominantly of aliphatic, alicyclic and aromatic hydrocarbons. It may also contain small amounts of nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur compounds.

Composition of Crude Oil

Classification of Crude Oil

Paraffins : These can make up 15 to 60% of crude.

  • Paraffins are the desired content in crude and what are used to make fuels.
  • The shorter the paraffins are, the lighter the crude is.

Napthenes : These can make up 30 to 60% of crude.

  • They are higher in density than equivalent paraffins and are more viscous.

Aromatics: Aromatics: These can constitute anywhere from 3 to 30% of crude.

  • They are undesirable because burning results in soot.
  • They are also more viscous. They are often solid or semi-solid.

Asphaltics: These average about 6% in most crude.

  • They are generally undesirable in crude, but their ‘stickiness’ makes them excellent for use in road construction.

What is petroleum

Petroleum is a broad term that refers to both crude oil and petroleum products. Petroleum products are the different hydrocarbons groups that occur within crude oil, and they are obtained through the refinement of crude oil.

What is the difference between petroleum and crude oil

Petroleum is a broad term that includes both crude oil and petroleum products. Crude oil refers to specifically the raw product drilled from the ground.


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