White Paper | July 28, 2014

Viscosity Measurement And The World's Insatiable Demand For Oil

Source: Anton Paar USA

By Tara S. Hundley

Three recent fiery derailments of trains transporting crude oil from the Bakken Shale formation in North Dakota have attracted the attention of the federal government as well as the petroleum industry. The U.S. Department of Transportation in February 2014 issued an emergency order requiring companies to test and accurately classify Bakken oil before shipping it by rail. The American Petroleum Institute plans to develop guidelines for testing the viscosity, corrosion, and vapor pressure of crude oil to ensure it is loaded only into railcars equipped with the appropriate safety features.

The world population’s insatiable demand for energy requires improved methods of testing oil’s kinematic viscosity, which is a measure of the fluid’s resistance to flow and a leading indicator of an oil product’s condition and suitability. To meet the demand, oil production was increased by 3 percent in 2013 and should rise by 3.7 percent in 2014 and 3.9 percent in 2015, according to International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook.

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