Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Light, Sweet

Does anyone else find it slightly disturbing that a certain grade of crude oil is described as "light, sweet"?

Does it sound a bit like a particular grade of olive oil?

Time for some research I think ...

light sweet crude
Well that wasn't particularily descriptive or helpful. It did say it's the "most liquid" of the grades of petrolium, whatever that means. However it introduced the phrase "crack spread options" which is only more disturbing ...

Ah, much more information. The "light" refers to it's boiling point (how the various grades are commonly separated). Lower boiling point grades produce different things (ether/solvent is the lowest and auto gas is next to it, diesel and jet fuel is the heaviest). The "sweet" referes to the amount of sulfur it contains (and thus the amount of sulfur byproducts that burning it may produce).

Man, wikipedia is cool.

Just for reference, olive oil is categories as to it's "virginity" (oddly not at all related to it's sexuality), or how many times the olive paste is "pressed" and it's relative acidity. "Extra virgin" is the first pressing and contains less than 0.8% acidity. "Virgin" can have no more than 2% acidity. Just plain "olive oil" contains 1% acidity but may contain "refined" olive oil and it has almost no taste (so there are certain uses that this is very good for). "Imported from Italy" only means that it was bottled there, not that the olives were grown there. "100% Pure Olive Oil" sounds like it's good stuff but it usually means it's the lowest grade of natural oil. "Made from refined olive oils" means that the acidity and taste were chemically produced. And "Made from hand picked olives" means absolutely nothing at all since there is no evidence to suggest that hand picking the olives affects the oil (tree-shaking is normally the method of picking the olives).

There, now we learned something today!


Blogger banzai said...

Aaron (who is from Oklahoma and has friends who work in oil) also tells me that the "light sweet" crude smells sweet as well.


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