API gravity is a measure of how heavy or dense oil is relative to water. Gravity is expressed in degrees and if greater than 10 will float on water, if less than 10 it will sink. Certain densities of oil are easier and more profitable to extract.
Oil with a gravity of 40 to 45 degrees brings the highest price.
- Light crude generally has a gravity in excess of 31.1 degrees.
- Medium crude has a gravity of between 22.3 degrees and 31.1 degrees.
- Heavy crude has a gravity of less than 22.3 degrees.
- Crude oil with a gravity of less than 10 degrees is referred to as extra heavy oil or bitumen
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