Crude Oil


DEFINITION of 'Crude Oil'

A naturally occurring, unrefined petroleum product composed of hydrocarbon deposits. Crude oil can be refined to produce usable products such as gasoline, diesel and various forms of petrochemicals.


Although it is often called "black gold," crude oil has ranging viscosity and can vary in color to various shades of black and yellow depending on its hydrocarbon composition. Distillation, the process by which oil is heated and separated in different components, is the the first stage in refining.

  1. Unconventional Oil

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    An industrial plant that refines crude oil into petroleum products ...
  5. Peak Oil

    A hypothetical date referring to the world's peak crude oil production, ...
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    Sand and rock material which contains crude bitumen (a heavy, ...
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