Oil. Which do you want: sour or sweet?


Oil. Which do you want: sour or sweet?

Heavy or light, sweet or sour, WTI or Brent – is all about the oil.

Usually, the name of the oil comes from a geographic location. For example, WTI is an abbreviation for West Texas Intermediate. Brent, a well-known oil brand, was named by the first letters of British oilfields - Broom, Rannoch, Etive, Ness and Tarbert.

Crude oil is classified according to its chemical composition and physical properties. In this case, terminology such as "sweet" (sweet), or "sour" ("sour"), "light" (light) or "heavy" is used.

The American Institute of Oil devides the types of oil by density:

  1. Light - light oil with a density greater than 31.1° API

  2. Medium - API within API API 22.3° - 31.1 ° API

  3. Heavy - oil with a density below 22.3° API

Depending on sulfur content, the oil is called sweet or sour (sweet/sour). But this is not about taste, it’s about oil value for processing.

In international markets, oil is divided into accepted varieties. They allow you to group crude oil from different fields in quality and homogeneity.

Russian oil is divided into such varieties as: Urals, Siberian Light and EPSO. The last one was named like the East Siberia and Pasific Ocean pipeline.

In Britain oil is called Brent. It combines crude oil extracted in the North Sea deposits, between Norway and Scotland (Forties, Ekofisk, Oseberg and the Brent family).

Statfjord - the name given to the Norwegian oil. Similar to the British, it inherited the name from the largest and oldest deposit in northern Europe.

Iraq also called their oil by the name of the main field of the country - Kirkuk. Iranian oil was named Iran Light and Iran Heavy. Oil extracted in the United States is divided into WTI and Light Sweet.

The generally accepted international benchmark for oils market price is the Light Sweet, WTI varieties (for the West) and Brent (Europe and OPEC).

The cost of oil is very dependent on its density and sulfur content. Beneath are the characteristics of the main crude oil classes. These indicators determine the further efficiency, direction and cost of processing oil into the final product. But all about it in our next publications.

 Grade of oil Brent WTI Dubai
Urals Siberian
 API Density, ° API  38 40 30 31 36,5 34,8
 Sulfur content,% 0,37 0,24 2,13 1,3 0,57