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The Petroleum

It is said that petroleum is the most important energetic substance in the world. It is a no renewable resource, and contributes to the highest percentage of the total energy consumed by the world. The petroleum was commercialized for the first time in 1850 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania by the pharmacist Samuel Kier. It was sold as “oil of rock” or “petroleum”. Since then, the petroleum exploitation became one of the most powerful economic activities in the world.

Due to the highest dependence on petroleum and the instability of the international market, studies have been carried out to find other energetic products. The objective is to find another source of energy that can completely substitute the petroleum.

Petroleum producer countries are known as “independents”. Some of the most important are Mexico, United Kingdom, Norway, Russia, and the United States. On the other hand, the United States is the biggest consumer of petroleum.

The petroleum is one of the most important products that are negotiated in the international market. The stock exchanges of New York and London are the main centers where petroleum is negotiated; also, this one is sometimes negotiated on the “spot market”, that means in the moment. The prices are regulated by some “references prices”; some of the most standing out are WTI, Bren, and Dubai.

The petroleum is a unique material; thus, it is difficult to find two identical substances. Moreover, there are international indicators such as the American Petroleum Institute (API). This organization is in charge of identifying the petroleum’s qualities and, in this way, its value. The quality of petroleum is determined by the grades of API: better APIs’ grades mean better quality. For example, light petroleum has more than 26 grades of API. The “intermediate” petroleum has between 20 and 26 grades, and the “heavy” petroleum is under 20 grades of API.

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