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oil





A mixture of hydrocarbons usually existing in the liquid state in natural underground pools or reservoirs. Oil in its natural state, called crude oil, remains liquid at atmospheric pressure after passing through surface separating facilities. Depending upon the characteristics of the crude stream, it may also include:
  • Small amounts of hydrocarbons that exist in gaseous phase in natural underground reservoirs but are liquid at atmospheric pressure after being recovered from oil well (casinghead) gas in lease separators and are subsequently commingled with the crude stream without being separately measured. Lease condensate recovered as a liquid from natural gas wells in lease or field separation facilities and later mixed into the crude stream is also included;

  • Small amounts of nonhydrocarbons produced with the oil, such as sulfur and various metals;

  • Drip gases, and liquid hydrocarbons produced from tar sands, oil sands, gilsonite, and oil shale.
Liquids produced at natural gas processing plants are excluded. Crude oil is refined to produce a wide array of petroleum products, including heating oils; gasoline, diesel and jet fuels; lubricants; asphalt; ethane, propane, and butane; and many other products used for their energy or chemical content.

Natural gas is often found in association with oil.


Related category

   • FUELS