Cracking

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Cracking'

Used in the oil and gas industry to refer to a variety of methods whereby a larger product is broken down into smaller by-products. For example, crude oil can be processed (cracked) to produce "lighter" byproducts such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or gasoline. When looking at investments in the oil industry, many investors will look at the crack spread, or the profit from "cracking" crude oil.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Cracking'

Cracking splits larger molecules into smaller ones, or breaks the bonds of a larger, more complex material into smaller matter. Cracking can be accomplished in a variety of methods, including hydrocracking, fluid catalytic cracking and steam cracking.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Spud

    In the oil and gas industry, the process of beginning to drill ...
  2. Oil Field

    A tract of land used for extracting petroleum, or crude oil, ...
  3. Oil Refinery

    An industrial plant that refines crude oil into petroleum products ...
  4. Crude Oil

    A naturally occurring, unrefined petroleum product composed of ...
  5. Oil Reserves

    An estimate of the amount of crude oil located in a particular ...
  6. Oil Sands

    Sand and rock material which contains crude bitumen (a heavy, ...
Related Articles
  1. Oil And Gas Industry Primer
    Active Trading

    Oil And Gas Industry Primer

  2. What Determines Oil Prices?
    Active Trading

    What Determines Oil Prices?

  3. Peak Oil: Problems And Possibilities
    Options & Futures

    Peak Oil: Problems And Possibilities

  4. Understanding Oil Industry Terminology
    Budgeting

    Understanding Oil Industry Terminology

comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Correlation

    In the world of finance, a statistical measure of how two securities move in relation to each other. Correlations are used ...
  2. Letter Of Credit

    A letter from a bank guaranteeing that a buyer's payment to a seller will be received on time and for the correct amount. ...
  3. Due Diligence - DD

    1. An investigation or audit of a potential investment. Due diligence serves to confirm all material facts in regards to ...
  4. Certificate Of Deposit - CD

    A savings certificate entitling the bearer to receive interest. A CD bears a maturity date, a specified fixed interest rate ...
  5. Days Sales Of Inventory - DSI

    A financial measure of a company's performance that gives investors an idea of how long it takes a company to turn its inventory ...
  6. Accounts Payable - AP

    An accounting entry that represents an entity's obligation to pay off a short-term debt to its creditors. The accounts payable ...
Trading Center