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Properties of Crude Oil Systems

Crude oil is a complex mixture consisting predominantly of hydrocarbons and containing sulfur, nitrogen, oxygen, and helium as minor constituents. The physical and chemical properties of crude oils vary considerably and are dependent on the concentration of the various types of hydrocarbons and minor constituents present.

An accurate description of physical properties of crude oils is of a considerable importance in the fields of both applied and theoretical science and especially in the solution of petroleum reservoir engineering problems. Physical properties of primary interest in petroleum engineering studies include:

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  • Fluid gravity
  • Specific gravity of the solution gas
  • Gas solubility
  • Bubble-point pressure
  • Oil formation volume factor
  • Isothermal compressibility coefficient of under saturated crude oils
  • Oil density
  • Total formation volume factor
  • Crude oil viscosity
  • Surface tension

Crude Oil Gravity

The crude oil density is defined as the mass of a unit volume of the crude at a specified pressure and temperature. It is usually expressed in pounds per cubic foot. The specific gravity of a crude oil is defined as the ratio of the density of the oil to that of water. Both densities are measured at 60°F and atmospheric pressure.

go= (ro/ rw)

Where go = specific gravity of the oil

ro = density of the crude oil, lb/ft3

rw = density of the water, lb/ft3

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