Oil Sanctions Show Crude Isn't Interchangeable

May 24, 2022

Contrary to the assumption of many, crude oil is not a homogenous commodity. Refineries are configured to specific types of crude, whether it be heavy, light, sweet, sour, etc. The end-product refining yield depends on the type of crude processed, which is usually differentiated by API (American Petroleum Institute) gravity and sulfur content. If a refinery is configured for heavy oil, its main sources are Russia, Canada, or Venezuela. If heavy oil from Russia is blocked due to sanctions, that supply cannot be replaced by Texas oil.

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