Journal Published Online: 18 October 2016
Volume 5, Issue 2

Crude Oil Analysis: History and Development of Test Methods From 1854 to 2016



In 1854, Benjamin Silliman, Jr. completed his classic report on the analysis of a sample of “rock oil from Venago Co., PA.” By today's standards, his methods were primitive, but they marked the beginning of modern petroleum analysis. Over the next century and a half, hundreds of papers have been published on developments in analytical methodology and advances in instrumental technology. These have contributed to significant improvements in test methods enabling determination of crude oil properties more easily, in less time, and with greater accuracy. This article traces development of many of the test methods routinely used today for analyzing crude oils. Few of these were initially developed for crude oils, but were originally for analysis of products such as illuminating and lubricating oils. Over time, they were adapted to crude oils. The test methods described encompass those used for fundamental properties such as API gravity and total sulfur, and extend to complex operations such as fractional distillation. The article provides numerous references related to the development of each test method.

Author Information

Giles, H.
PetroStorTech LLC, Arlington, VA, US
Pages: 169
Price: $25.00
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Stock #: MPC20160056
ISSN: 2165-3992
DOI: 10.1520/MPC20160056