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Definition of Petroleum

Petroleum is a mixture of naturally occurring hydrocarbons that may exist in the solid, liquid or gaseous states, depending upon the conditions of pressure and temperature to which it is subjected. Virtually all petroleum is produced from the reservoir in either liquid or gaseous form, and commonly, these materials are referred to as either crude oil or natural gas, depending upon the state of the hydrocarbon mixture. Petroleum consists of approximately 11-13 wt % hydrogen and 84-87 wt % of carbon. Traces of oxygen, sulphur, nitrogen and helium may be found as impurities in crude oil. Crude oils obtained from different oil reservoirs have widely different characteristics. Some are black, heavy, and thick like tar, and others are brown or nearly clear with low viscosity and low specific gravity. However, nearly all crude oils have elemental analyses within the limits given below.

The following tables demonstrate 1) Elemental Analysis of Typical Crude Oils and 2) Typical Crude Oil Fraction

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