Why is crude oil in barrels? How many liters of crude oil per barrel


Crude oil is a liquid fuel source located underground. It was extracted by drilling. Oil is used for transportation, petroleum products and plastics.

At the same time, it is also a non renewable resource. 400 million years ago, the remains of prehistoric algae and plankton sank into the sea floor, combined with mud and covered by sedimentary layers. The huge pressure kept the remains in high temperature for millions of years. It first turns into a waxy substance called kerogen, and then under more pressure and heat, it turns into liquid oil. When the existing oil is exhausted, it will take hundreds of years for new oil to be produced.

  • Do you know why crude oil is in barrels?

Since the middle ages, the "barrel" has been widely used in the whole European society at that time. The barrels of all sizes vary from 1000 to 100 liters. The term "oil barrel" originated from the early production of oil, and there was no standard oil container. Therefore, the oil was stored and transported in barrels of different shapes and sizes, including those originally used to store beer, fish, honey and other products. However, due to the non-standard market, the crude oil transported in different containers is not trusted by buyers. Therefore, crude oil producers began to seek a standard unit of measurement. Finally, they determined to use Richard III's British wine barrel as the American standard oil barrel. By 1872, the association of petroleum producers officially adopted the 42 gallon standard barrel.

  • How many liters of crude oil are there in a barrel?

In fact, the number of liters of crude oil per barrel varies according to the type of crude oil.

A barrel of crude oil is 0.1576 cubic meters (159 liters), 7.3 barrels of crude oil is a ton.

But we can't say exactly how many liters of gasoline a barrel of crude oil can produce. On average, the oil content of a barrel of crude oil is between 40 and 70 liters.

  • Application of crude oil

Crude oil is the basis of many products. These fuels include transportation fuels such as gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel. They also include fuel oil for heating and power generation.

Crude oil can also produce petroleum products, according to the U.S. energy information administration. When combined with other chemicals, it is the basis for more than 6000 items. Its by-products are used to produce tar, pitch, paraffin and lubricants. It is also used in chemical products such as fertilizers, perfume, insecticides, soap and vitamin capsules. At the same time, it is also the foundation of plastics, used in aircraft carbon fiber, PVC pipes and cosmetics. For example, it takes about 16 gallons of crude oil to make a sofa. About 40% of textiles contain petroleum by-products.

Generally speaking, if the crude oil type is very heavy and contains a large amount of wax, then most of it will be converted into wax or feedstock for the petrochemical industry. If the crude oil is very light, such as api40-45, then most of it will be converted into fuels such as kerosene, gasoline and diesel. Crude oil is also priced based on these characteristics. And those crude oil prices seen in the international market are actually targeted at specific crude oil standards. The price of any crude oil varies according to the deviation of crude oil characteristics from the standard.

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