Definitions and Key Features

Within the oil markets there are a number of widely used acronyms and terms that are described below.

The physical markets

Crude oil and sulphur

Crude oils are typically classed as high or low sulphur. Typically the lower the sulphur, the higher the value of the crude.

API (gravity)

Crude oils are also classed as light or heavy. The higher the gravity (or the lighter the crude oil), typically the higher the value of the crude.

Figure 3.11 OPEC vs non-OPEC output

Source: EIA

TAN (acid)

As the world delves deeper for hydrocarbon, more and more acidic crude oils are being found. The higher the TAN (total acid ...

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