• So more profits are generated per barrel of sweet, light than heavier or sour crude oils.

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  • Meanwhile, the world is awash in supply of sour crude without many refiners able to process it.

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  • This heavy, sour crude is plentiful, but not all refineries in the West and Midwest have innards strong enough to digest it.

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  • The majority new oil being developed are heavy, sour crude oils which have a high sulfur content, high viscosity, and high density.

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  • Oil refineries use hydrogen to strip sulfur from sour crude supplies, especially those from Mexico and Venezuela, and to meet stringent clean-fuel regulations.

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  • Ecuador exports a heavy sour crude called Napo and a medium-heavy, medium-sour crude called Oriente that is produced in the northeast of the country.

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  • Refiners churn out the same end products (gasoline, heating oil, distillates, etc.) using either feedstock, but not all refiners have the equipment to process heavy sour crude.

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  • Its ugly relative--heavy, sour crude--sells at a discount of 10% to 25%, depending on blend and location, because it takes more refining to break down its hydrocarbons and remove its higher sulfur content.

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  • Alaska North Slope (ANS), a heavier, more sour crude, actually trades closer to WTI sometimes than it would otherwise because it can put on a tanker and shipped to just about any port on earth, in contrast to the landlocked WTI.

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  • It's looked not only at Brent crude but at some other exotic hydrocarbon cocktails - West Texas Intermediate, the Argus Sour Crude Index, Brent Blend or BFOE (the basket of the North Sea's Brent, Forties, Oseberg and Ekofisk), Dubai and Oman, Tapis and Minas, and East Siberia-Pacific Ocean Blend.

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  • Because there is so much excess capacity in the worlds refineries, because there is a fair range of capabilities in that excess capacity and because if there was not enough refining capacity to handle all the sour crude that is available, the price of sour crude would be selling at a greater discount to sweet crude than the current modest discount.

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  • Although 75% of the worlds crude is sour but something like 40% of the worlds refineries are geared to sweet crude.

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  • As a result prices for sweet light crude tends to be higher than heavier or sour crudes.

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  • World crude oil production has in some cases already peaked (sweet, light) while others (heavy, sour) it has yet to be will soon.

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