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Classification of Crude Oil

Submitted To :
Mr. Shiv Om Meena
Assistant Professor
Dept. Of Chemical Engg.

Submitted By:
Ravi Kumar Atal

Need for Classification

Quality reasons

Processing reasons
Economic reasons
Application point of view

Basis of Classification
Chemical Composition
Hydrocarbon resource
API gravity
Sulfur Content
Correlation Index
Pour Point

On the basis of Chemical Composition

The hydrocarbons in crude oil can generally be
divided into four categories1.

Make up 15 to 60% of crude
Have a carbon to hydrogen ratio of 1:2
Straight or branched chains, but never cyclic
Paraffins are the desired content in crude.
The shorter the paraffins, the lighter the crude.


Make up 30 to 60% of crude
Have a carbon to hydrogen ratio of 1:2.
These are cyclic compounds/cycloparaffins.
They are higher in density than equivalent paraffins
and are more viscous.

Make up 3 to 30% of crude.
Undesirable because burning them results in soot.
Much less hydrogen in comparison to carbon than is found
in paraffins. more viscous.
Often solid or semi-solid.

Average about 6% in most crude.
Have a carbon to hydrogen ratio of approximately 1:1,
making them very dense.
Generally undesirable in crude.
Excellent for use in road construction.

On the basis of Hydrocarbon Resources

Naturally Occuring: Hydrocarbons that occur
naturally as Petroleum, natural gas and natural waxes.

Hydrocarbon Sources :(Oil shale and coal )which

may be made to generate hydrocarbons by the application
of conversion processes.

On the basis of API gravity

Degrees API is a unit of measurement of oil
density, developed by the American
Petroleum Institute.
Measurement of degrees API allows us to
determine the relative density of oil to the
density of water at the same temperature of
15.6 degrees Celsius. The API degree is
found with the following formula:

What does API gravity tell ?

Crude oil may be considered:
Light crude oil is more desirable than heavy oil since it produces a
higher yield of gasoline.
Density of oil is determined by the length of the hydrocarbons it
The ratio of carbon to hydrogen also helps to determine the density of a
particular hydrocarbon.

On the basis of Sulfur Content

The Sulfur content is expresses as percent Sulfur by
weight and varies from less than 0.1% to greater than
Sweet Low Sulfur i.e. < 0.5% Sulfur by weight
Sour- High Sulfur i.e. > 1% Sulfur by weight
Sweet crude oil is more preferred by refineries as it
contains valuable chemicals which is needed to
produce the light distillates and high quality feed

API gravity vs. Sulfur Content

On the basis of Correlation Index

d= specific gravity

Values for the Correlation Index:

0-15 : predominance of paraffin
hydrocarbons in the fraction.
15-50 : predominance of either
naphthenes or of mixtures of
paraffins, naphthenes, and
more than 50 : predominance of

On the basis of Pour Point

When the reservoir temperature exceeds the pour
point,the oil is fluid in the reservoir and therefore
When the reservoir temperature lower than pour
point,this indicates that bitumen is solid within the
deposit and therefore immobile.

Some other factors of prominence

Nitrogen content
Metal Content
Water, Salt and Sediment