What Is In A Barrel Of Oil?

Paul J Chapman FIChemE

Basic refinery

After my recent post (on my politics blog) about oil reserves around the World, I received a comment with a couple of questions that I thought might make a good follow-up article on this blog.

okay. I’ve always wanted to ask this question of someone, now’s my chance….. hope you have the answer Paul…..

How many gallons (or even litres!!) are there in one barrel (in terms of crude oil I think).

You would expect there to be an easy answer, but it is muddied somewhat by different definitions of barrels and gallons, but official values based on Oil Industry standards;

A US Barrel of oil is 159 litres which is about 35 UK gallons or 42 US gallons

The second question was even more interesting;

I realise crude needs to be refined to get what we call petrol etc, so maybe a secondary question, how many gallons of petrol do…

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