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Barrel (unit)

Jump to: navigation, search "bbl" redirects here. For other uses, see BBL (disambiguation). A barrel is one of several units of volume, with dry barrels, fluid barrels (UK beer barrel, US beer barrel), oil barrel, etc. The volume of some barrel units is double others, with various volumes in the range of about 100200 litres (2244 imp gal; 2653 US gal), due to historical reasons. Since medieval times the measure barrel has been used with different meanings around Europe, from about 100 litres to above 1000 in special cases. The name comes from medieval French baril. In most countries, its use is mainly obsolete, superseded by SI units. Thus the meaning of corresponding words in other languages normally refers to a physical barrel, not a known measure. In the international oil market context, however, prices in USD per barrel are commonly used. Also, beer kegs are made in standardised volumes.


1 Dry goods in the US 2 Fluid barrel in the US and UK 3 Oil barrel o 3.1 History o 3.2 Modern use o 3.3 Conversion to metric units o 3.4 Variations (oil barrels) 3.4.1 Barrels per calendar day 3.4.2 Barrels per stream day (BSD or BPSD) 3.4.3 Sub units 3.4.4 Qualifiers 4 See also 5 References

Dry goods in the US

US dry barrel: 7,056 cubic inches (115.6 L) (~3.28 bushel). o Defined as length of stave 2812 in (72 cm), diameter of head 1718 in (43 cm), distance between heads 26 in (66 cm), circumference of bulge 64 in (1.6 m) outside measurement; representing as nearly as possible 7,056 cubic inches; and the thickness of staves not greater than 410 in (10 mm)[1] ([ 20.37 in/51.7 cm]). Any barrel that is 7,056 cubic inches is recognized as equivalent. US barrel for cranberries 5,826 cubic inches (95.5 L) (~2.71 bushel) o Defined as length of stave 2812 in (72 cm), diameter of head 1614 in (41 cm), distance between heads 2514 in (64 cm), circumference of bulge 5812 in (1.49 m) outside measurement; and the thickness of staves not greater than 410 in (10.16 mm)[1] ([ 18.62 in/47.3 cm]). No equivalent in cubic inches is given in the statute, but later regulations specify it as 5,826 cubic inches.[2]

Some products have a standard weight or volume that constitutes a barrel:

cornmeal, 200 pounds (90.7 kg)

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Portland cement, 4 cubic feet (113 L) or 376 pounds (170.6 kg).[3] small barrel.[4]

Fluid barrel in the US and UK

Fluid barrels vary depending on what is being measured and where. For barrels of oil, see the next section. In the UK a beer barrel is 36 imperial gallons (43 US gal; 164 L). In the US most fluid barrels (apart from oil) are 31.5 US gallons (26 imp gal; 119 L) (half a hogshead), but a beer barrel is 31 US gallons (26 imp gal; 117 L).[5][6] The size of beer kegs in the US is based loosely on fractions of the US beer barrel. When referring to beer barrels or kegs in many countries, the term may be used for the commercial package units independent of actual volume, where common range for professional use is 20-60 L, typically a DIN or Euro keg of 50 L.

Oil barrel

Oil barrel, (abbreviation bbl): a legacy volume measure of 42 US gallons (34.9723 imp gal; 158.9873 L).[7] It can also mean 35 imperial gallons (42.0332 US gal; 159.1132 L). Commonly a barrel is regarded as 159 L volume.[clarification needed]

See caveat below regarding considerations for conversion to metric units. The standard oil barrel of 42 US gallons is used in the United States as a measure of crude oil and other petroleum products. Elsewhere, oil is commonly measured in cubic metres (m3) or in tonnes (t), with (metric) tonnes more often being used by European oil companies. International companies listed on American stock exchanges tend to express their oil-production volumes in barrels for global reporting purposes, and those listed on European exchanges tend to express their production in tonnes. There can be 6 to 8 barrels of oil in a ton, depending on density. For example: 256 US gallons [6.1 bbl] of heavy distillate per ton, 272 gallons [6.5 bbl] of crude oil per ton, and 333 gallons [7.9 bbl] of gasoline per ton.[8]

The wooden oil barrel of the late 19th century is different from the modern-day 55 US-gallon steel drum (known as 210/200-litre/kg outside the USA; and as the 44-gallon drum in the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and other former British dependencies, even though all those countries now officially use the metric system and the drums are filled to 200 litres). The 42-US-gallon oil barrel is a unit of measure, and is no longer a physical container used to transport crude oil, as most petroleum is moved in pipelines or oil tankers. In the United States, the 55-US-gallon size of barrel as a unit of measure is largely confined to the oil industry, while different sizes of barrel are used in other industries. Nearly all other countries use the metric system. Many oil-producing countries still use the American oil barrel.[citation needed] The measurement originated in the early Pennsylvania oil fields. In the early 1860s, when oil production began, there was no standard container for oil, so oil and petroleum products were stored and transported in barrels of different shapes and sizes. Some of these barrels would originally have been used for other products, such as beer, fish, molasses or turpentine. Both the 42-US-gallon barrels (based on the old English wine measure), the tierce (159 litres) and the 40-US-gallon (151.4-litre) whiskey barrels were used. 452 of 5

gallon barrels were also in common use. The 40-gallon whiskey barrel was the most common size used by early oil producers, since they were readily available at the time.[9] The origins of the 42-gallon oil barrel are obscure, but some historical documents indicate that around 1866, early oil producers in Pennsylvania came to the conclusion that shipping oil in a variety of different containers was causing buyer distrust. They decided they needed a standard unit of measure to convince buyers that they were getting a fair volume for their money. They agreed to base this measure on the moreor-less standard 40-gallon whiskey barrel, but, as an additional way of assuring buyer confidence, they added an additional two gallons to ensure that any measurement errors would always be in the buyer's favor, on the same principle as that underlying the baker's dozen and some other long units of measure.[citation needed] By 1872, the standard oil barrel was firmly established as 42 US gallons.[10]

Modern use
The abbreviations 1 Mbbl and 1 MMbbl have historically meant one thousand and one million barrels respectively. They are derived from the Latin "mille" meaning "thousand" rather than the Greek "mega". However, this can cause confusion with the SI abbreviation for mega- (and in non-oil industry documentation Mbbl, "megabarrel", can sometimes stand for one million barrels). The "b" may have been doubled originally to indicate the plural (1 bl, 2 bbl), or possibly it was doubled to eliminate any confusion with bl as a symbol for the bale. Some sources assert that "bbl" originated as a symbol for "blue barrels" delivered by Standard Oil in its early days. Barrels per day (abbreviated BPD, BOPD, bbl/d, bpd, bd or b/d) is a measurement used to describe the rate of crude oil production or consumption by an entity. For example, an oil field might produce 100,000 bpd, and a country might consume 1 million bpd. Note: BPD is not to be confused with BLPD (barrels of liquids per day), which deals with the total liquid recovered, including water, and not only crude oil.[11] BPD is related to BOE (Barrels of Oil Equivalent), a common way of expressing the energy content of hydrocarbon gases in terms of oil, in order to make comparisons. According to BP Statistical Review 2006:

1 barrel equals 42 US gallons 1 BPD = 42/24/60 = .0292 GPM 1 GPM = 34.29 BPD 1 barrel equals about 159.0 Litres (calculated to 158.984 L) The approximate conversion for BPD to tonnes/year is 49.8, so 100,000 BPD equals around 4,980,000 tonnes per year.

Conversion to metric units

Care must be taken when converting an oil barrel (bbl) to other units of volume, such as cubic metres (m3). Because oil changes in volume depending upon its pressure and temperature, and the standard temperatures differ slightly between the American conventional and international metric systems, the volume must be corrected to standard conditions for temperature and pressure if an extremely accurate conversion is required.[citation needed] Standards bodies such as the American Petroleum Institute (API) have adopted the convention that if oil is measured in oil barrels, it will be at 14.696 psi and 60 F, whereas if it is measured in cubic metres, it will
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be at 101.325 kPa and 15 C (or in some cases 20 C). The pressures are the same (normal air pressure at sea level) but the temperatures are different 60 F is about 15.56 C, 15 C is 59 F, and 20 C is 68 F. Ignoring the difference between 60 F and 20 C may introduce an error of around 0.4%. The difference in volume depends on the oil's composition, indicated by its density or API gravity. In warming from 15 C to 60 F, a heavy oil with API gravity of 20 (932 kg/m3) will increase in volume by 0.039%. A light oil with API gravity of 35 (848 kg/m3) will increase in volume by 0.047%. Empirically derived lookup tables must be used to do very accurate conversions. The weight never changes, though, except by possible evaporation. However, if all that is needed is to convert a volume in barrels to a volume in cubic metres without compensating for temperature differences, then this is very straightforward.

1 barrel of oil (bbl) is defined as exactly 42 US liquid gallons. 1 US liquid gallon is defined as exactly 231 cubic inches. 1 inch is defined as exactly 0.0254 metres.

Therefore, 1 bbl = (42 231 0.02543) m3 = 0.158 987 294 928 m3 exactly (approximately 159 litres). It is unusual for crude oil volumes to be measured to better than 5 significant figures of accuracy so 0.15899 m3 may be an adequate factor to use in simple conversions.

Variations (oil barrels)

Barrels per calendar day Barrel per calendar day (bc/d or bcd) is a standard petroleum downstream industry measurement of actual refinery throughput, as opposed to designed capacity. BPD is computed by dividing the number of refined barrels of oil processed by the number of days in the year. This is contrasted to Barrel per stream day which is computed by dividing the number of refined barrels of oil by the actual number of days the refinery was running. Barrels per stream day (BSD or BPSD) The quantity of oil product produced by a single refining unit during continuous operation for 24 hours.[12] Sub units In terms of production and consumption, it is common to use thousand barrels per day or million barrels per day. These are commonly written as mbd and mmbd respectively taking "m" as the Roman numeral for 1000 (M). It is important not to confuse these with SI prefixes, where kbd and Mbd would mean a thousand and a million barrels per day respectively. Qualifiers A barrel can technically be used to specify any volume. Since the actual nature of the fluids being measured varies along the stream, sometimes qualifiers are used to clarify what is being specified. In the oil field, it is often important to differentiate between rates of production of fluids, which may be a mix of oil and water, and rates of production of the oil itself. If a well is producing 10mbd of fluids with a 20% water cut, then the well would also be said to be producing 8 thousand barrels of oil a day (mbod).
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In other circumstances, it can be important to include gas in production and consumption figures. Normally, gas amount is measured in standard cubic feet or cubic metres for volume (as well as in kg or Btu which don't depend on pressure or temperature). But when necessary, such volume is converted to a volume of oil of equivalent enthalpy of combustion. Production and consumption using this analogue is stated in barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed). In the case of water injection wells, it is common to refer to the injectivity rate in barrels of water per day (bwd).

See also

55 gallon drum Barrel Barrel of oil equivalent English units of wine casks Imperial units

Petroleum Petroleum pricing around the world Standard Barrel Act For Fruits, Vegetables, and Dry Commodities United States customary units

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. p. 60. 7. ^ B. N. Taylor. "B.8 Factors for Units Listed Alphabetically - Section B". Guide for the Use of SI units. NIST. Archived from the original on 13 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-18. 8. ^ "How much, for what, and ending up where?". United Nations Environment Programme Global Marine Oil Pollution Information Gateway. 9. ^ Judith O. Etzel (2008). "The 42 Gallon Barrel (History)". The 150th Anniversary of Oil. Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry and Tourism. Archived from the original on 26 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-11. 10. ^ "Barrel (of petroleum)". Units and Systems of Units. Sizes, Inc. 2004. Archived from the original on 21 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-11. 11. ^ Schlumberger Limited. "Schlumberger Oilfield Glossary". Schlumberger Limited. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 12. ^ arrels per stream day [barlz pr strm d] (chemical engineering) A measurement used to denote rate of oil or oil-product flow while a fluid-processing unit is in continuous operation. Abbreviated BSD. McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. ^ a b 15 USC 234 ^ cranberry barrel ^ "US Traditional and Commerciavert". ^ 15 USC 237 ^ 27 CFR 25.11. ^ Ian Whitelaw. A Measure of All Things: The Story of Man and Measurement. Macmillan.

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