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How Much Automotive Oil in a Barrel of Crude?

Barrel of Crude

Have you ever wondered what is in a barrel of crude oil?  A crude oil barrel measures 42 gallons or 159L and can be refined to deliver over 11 different products.  The biggest use for crude oil is gasoline which makes up 19.5 gallons.  To put this in perspective, it takes roughly one barrel of crude oil to fill a large SUV!  Out of the total 42 gallons only .5 gallons can be used to make lubricants.  The term lubricants is inclusive of engine oils, additives, gear oils, and the list goes on.  It’s pretty clear that it takes a lot of crude oil to produce a very small amount of engine oil.  So the next time a customer says that your prices are expensive just let them know that your prices are relatively low in comparison to the cost of refining and producing the oil.  On second thought, this might need be a good idea if your customer pays attention to market prices and expects lower prices when the price of crude is on the decline.

The fact that only so little lubricant is derived from crude is probably a key driver behind more advanced oil life management systems, extended drain intervals, and mandates from government bodies to improve engine efficiency through oil lubricants.

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