Main products traded in: Crude, Diesel, Gasoline, Kerosene, Fuel Oil, Lubricants, Jet Fuel, Additives, LNG and Petrochemicals.

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Oil and petroleum products explained

What is crude oil and what are petroleum products?

We call crude oil and petroleum fossil fuels because they are mixtures of hydrocarbons that formed from the remains of animals and plants (diatoms) that lived millions of years ago in a marine environment before the existence of dinosaurs. Over millions of years, the remains of these animals and plants were covered by layers of sand, silt, and rock. Heat and pressure from these layers turned the remains into what we now call crude oil or petroleum. The word petroleum means rock oil or oil from the earth.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration (public domain)

Diatoms magnified under a microscope.

Source: Image used by permission from Micrographia

Crude oil and other hydrocarbons exist in liquid or gaseous from in underground pools or reservoirs, in tiny spaces within sedimentary rocks, and near the earth’s surface in tar (or oil) sands. Petroleum products are fuels made from crude oil and hydrocarbons contained in natural gas. Petroleum products can also be made from coal, natural gas, and biomass.

Products made from crude oil

After crude oil is removed from the ground, it is sent to a refinery where different parts of the crude oil are separated into useable petroleum products. These petroleum products include gasoline, distillates such as diesel fuel and heating oil, jet fuel, petrochemical feedstocks, waxes, lubricating oils, and asphalt. Learn more in Refining crude oil—inputs and outputs.

A U.S. 42-gallon barrel of crude oil yields about 45 gallons of petroleum products in U.S. refineries because of refinery processing gain. This increase in volume is similar to what happens to popcorn when it is popped. A corn kernel is smaller and more dense than a popped kernel. The amount of individual products produced varies from month-to-month and year-to-year as refineries adjust production to meet market demand and to maximize profitability.

Jet fuel or aviation turbine fuel

(ATF, also abbreviated avtur) is a type of aviation fuel designed for use in aircraft powered by gas-turbine engines. It is colorless to straw-colored in appearance. The most commonly used fuels for commercial aviation are Jet A and Jet A-1, which are produced to a standardized international specification. The only other jet fuel commonly used in civilian turbine-engine powered aviation is Jet B, which is used for its enhanced cold-weather performance.

Jet fuel is a mixture of a variety of hydrocarbons. Because the exact composition of jet fuel varies widely based on petroleum source, it is impossible to define jet fuel as a ratio of specific hydrocarbons. Jet fuel is therefore defined as a performance specification rather than a chemical compound. Furthermore, the range of molecular mass between hydrocarbons (or different carbon numbers) is defined by the requirements for the product, such as the freezing point or smoke point. Kerosene-type jet fuel (including Jet A and Jet A-1, JP-5, and JP-8) has a carbon number distribution between about 8 and 16 (carbon atoms per molecule); wide-cut or naphtha-type jet fuel (including Jet B and JP-4), between about 5 and 15

Jet A specification fuel has been used in the United States since the 1950s and is usually not available outside the United States and a few Canadian airports such as Toronto and Vancouver, whereas Jet A-1 is the standard specification fuel used in the rest of the world other than the former Soviet states where TS-1 is the most common standard. Both Jet A and Jet A-1 have a flash point higher than 38 °C (100 °F), with an autoignition temperature of 210 °C (410 °F).

Differences between Jet A and Jet A-1

The primary difference is the lower freezing point of A-1:

  • Jet A’s is −40 °C (−40 °F)
  • Jet A-1’s is −47 °C (−53 °F)

The other difference is the mandatory addition of an anti-static additive to Jet A-1.

Jet A trucks, storage tanks, and plumbing that carry Jet A are marked with a black sticker with “Jet A” in white printed on it, adjacent to another black stripe.

Typical physical properties for Jet A and Jet A-1

Jet A-1 fuel must meet:

  • DEF STAN 91-91 (Jet A-1),
  • ASTM specification D1655 (Jet A-1), and
  • IATA Guidance Material (Kerosene Type), NATO Code F-35.
  • Jet A fuel must reach ASTM specification D1655 (Jet A)

Typical physical properties for Jet A / Jet A-1

Jet A-1 Jet A
Flash point 38 °C (100 °F)
Autoignition temperature 210 °C (410 °F)
Freezing point −47 °C (−53 °F) −40 °C (−40 °F)
Max adiabatic burn temperature 2,500 K (2,230 °C) (4,040 °F) open air burn temperature: 1,030 °C (1,890 °F)
Density at 15 °C (59 °F) 0.804 kg/l (6.71 lb/US gal) 0.820 kg/l (6.84 lb/US gal)
Specific energy 43.15 MJ/kg (11.99 kWh / kg) 43.02 MJ/kg (11.95 kWh / kg)
Energy density 34.7 MJ/L (9.6 kWh / L) 35.3 MJ/L (9.8 kWh / L)

Jet B

Jet B is a naphtha-kerosene fuel that is used for its enhanced cold-weather performance. However, Jet B’s lighter composition makes it more dangerous to handle. For this reason, it is rarely used, except in very cold climates. A blend of approximately 30% kerosene and 70% gasoline, it is known as wide-cut fuel. It has a very low freezing point of −60 °C (−76 °F), and a low flash point as well. It is primarily used in some military aircraft. It is also used in northern Canada, Alaska, and sometimes Russia, because of its low freezing point.


TS-1 is a jet fuel made to Russian standard GOST 10227 for enhanced cold-weather performance. It has somewhat higher volatility than Jet A-1 (flash point is 28 °C (82 °F) minimum). It has a very low freezing point, below −50 °C (−58 °F).

Diesel D2 Russian Gasoil L-0.2-62 Gost 305-82

Standard diesel fuel (sometimes called diesel oil) comes in two grades: Diesel-1 (D1) and Diesel-2 (D2). Diesel or Diesel fuel in general is any fuel used in diesel engines. That’s why it’s also commonly called as AGO or Automotive Gas Oil. Diesel fuel is a type of fuel derived from the distillation of oil that is heavier than gasoline but lighter than engine oil and heavy oil.
D1 is similar to kerosene and is lighter than D2. While D2 is sold most of the time, D1 is sold during winter in very cold climates and not sold in hot weather countries. But D2 is easily available in most countries around the world. Despite rising awareness of environmental protection, D2 remains to be a key type of fuel for use in vehicles in many countries.

In particular, demand for D2 has risen significantly in Asia over the past years as a consequence of increasing number of cars. In view of the country sustained economic growth, D2 will continue to be undersupply in the China/India and market.

What is Diesel EN590?

EN590 describes the physical properties that all automotive diesel fuel must meet if it is to be sold in the European Union and Britain. Automotive diesel has national variants but the usual variants traded are EN590 and EN560 which are specified by ISO in Paris.

EN590 for diesel (in Europe) has been around for almost 20 years. However fuel, like most products, is subject to a process of continuous development – and that development includes responding to legislation. The EN590 standard has been amended many times since 1993.

The EN 590 had been introduced along with the European emission standards. With each of its revisions the EN 590 had been adapted to lower the sulphur content of diesel fuel. Since 2007 this is called ultra low sulphur diesel as the former function of sulphur as a lubricant is absent (and needs to be replaced by additives).

The quality of European diesel fuels is specified by the EN 590 standard. While these specifications not are mandatory, they are observed by all fuel suppliers in Europe. Automobile diesel EN 590 is intended for application in diesel engines. Diesel motor fuel quality meets the requirements of European Standard EN 590.

For operation in the conditions of a temperate climate following marks of fuel diesel automobile EN 590 are offered: Grade C – limiting filterability temperature -5 ° C; Grade D – limiting filterability temperature -10 ° C; Grade E – limiting filterability temperature – 15 ° C; Grade F – limiting filterability temperature -20 ° C.

The entire volume of produced diesel fuel quality meets the requirements for fuels for vehicles of Euro 4 and Euro 5. Low sulfur content in diesel EN 590 reduces emissions of sulfur oxides into the atmosphere, which is especially important for for inhabitants of big cities.

Some of the important revisions of the EN 590 standard have been:

EN 590:1993 – the first EU diesel fuel specification. It established a sulphur limit of 0.2% in on-road and non-road diesel fuels.

EN 590:1999 – this standard reflected the sulphur (350ppm) and cetane (51) specifications by Directive 98/70/EC.

EN 590:2004 – Sulphur limits of 50ppm (Euro 4) and 10ppm (Euro 5) as regulated by Directive 2003/17/EC. FAME (Fatty Acid Methyl Ester) content of 5% (B5)

EN 590:2009 – FAME content of 7% (B7) as regulated by Directive 2009/30/EC. This directive also adopts mandatory biofuel requirements for refiners and introduces a 10ppm sulphur limit in non-road fuels effective 2011.

What is ultra low Sulphur Diesel (ULSD)

Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) is diesel fuel with substantially lowered sulfur content. As of 2006, almost all of the petroleum-based diesel fuel available in Europe and North America is of a ULSD type.

There is not a single standard set of specifications and as the government mandated standard becomes progressively more strict so does the definition. The move to lower sulfur content is expected to allow the application of newer emissions control technologies that should substantially lower emissions of particulate matter from diesel engines.

This change occurred first in the European Union and is now happening in North America. New emissions standards, dependent on the cleaner fuel, have been in effect for automobiles in the United States since model year 2007.

ULSD has a lower energy content due to the heavy processing required to remove large amounts of sulfur from oil, leading to lower fuel economy. Using it requires more costly oil.

Diesel Fuel Oil D6

D6 is also be known as Residual Fuel Oil and is of high-viscosity. This particular fuel oil requires preheating to 220 – 260 Degrees Fahrenheit. D6 is mostly used for generators.

D6 is a type of residual fuel, mainly used in power plants and larger ships. The fuel requires to be preheated before it can be used. It is not possible to use it in smaller engines or vessels/vehicles where it is not possible to pre-heat it. D6 is its name in the USA. In other parts of the world it has other names.

Residual means the material remaining after the more valuable cuts of crude oil have boiled off. The residue may contain various undesirable impurities including 2 percent water and one-half percent mineral soil. D6 fuel is also known as residual fuel oil (RFO), by the Navy specification of Bunker C, or by the Pacific Specification of PS-400

Recent changes in fuel quality regulation now require further refining of the D6 in order to remove the sulfur, which leads to a higher cost. Despite this recent change, D6 is still less useful because of its viscosity as well as that it needs to be pre-heated before it can be used and contains high amounts of pollutants, such as sulfur. Since it requires pre-heating, it cannot be used in small ships or boats or cars. However large ships and power plants can use the residual fuel oil.
The price of D6 diesel traditionally rises during colder months as demand for heating oil rises, which is refined in much the same way.In many parts of the United States and throughout the United Kingdom and Australia, d6 diesel may be priced higher than petrol.

D6 Diesel Standards and Classification

CCAI and CII are two indexes which describe the ignition quality of residual fuel oil, and CCAI is especially often calculated for marine fuels.

Despite this marine fuels are still quoted on the international bunker markets with their maximum viscosity (which is set by the ISO 8217 standard – see below) due to the fact that marine engines are designed to use different viscosities of fuel.

The unit of viscosity used is the Centistoke and the d6 fuel most frequently quoted are listed below in order of cost, the least expensive first-

* IFO 380 – Intermediate d6 fuel oil with a maximum viscosity of 380 Centistokes
* IFO 180 – Intermediate d6 fuel oil with a maximum viscosity of 180 Centistokes
* LS 380 – Low-sulphur (<1.5%) intermediate d6 fuel oil with a maximum viscosity of 380 Centistokes
* LS 180 – Low-sulphur (<1.5%) intermediate d6 fuel oil with a maximum viscosity of 180 Centistokes
* MDO – Marine diesel oil.
* MGO – Marine gasoil.