Crude Oil

Crude oil, also known as Petroleum and oil, is a naturally occurring, yellowish-black liquid found in geological formations beneath the Earth's surface. It is commonly refined into various types of fuels. Components of petroleum are separated using a technique called fractional distillation, i.e., separation of a liquid mixture into fractions differing in boiling point by means of distillation, typically using a fractionating column. It consists of naturally occurring hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and may contain miscellaneous organic compounds. The name petroleum covers both naturally occurring unprocessed crude oil and petroleum products that are made up of refined crude oil.

Today, oil is shipped on 415-metre long Ultra-Large Crude Carriers (ULCCs). They can weigh up to half-a-million tons when fully loaded. They can transport more than 2 million barrels of oil per trip. Double-hulled crude tankers move crude oil from near the source of the oil to refineries near seaports. Smaller product tankers move oil from refineries to destinations near where it will be used. For example, product tankers might move oil to destinations near train tracks. Or, product tankers might move oil to storage facilities serviced by tank trucks bound for gas stations.