08 Jul '12, 6pm
How changing the definition of oil has deceived both policymakers and the public: #Oil
First, crude oil is what you think it is. It’s a black, hydrocarbon-rich liquid that comes out of underground reservoirs. It can also be made synthetically from other hydrocarbons such as the bitumen found in the Canadian tar sands. Oil also includes something called lease condensate which refers to the light hydrocarbons that often occur in oil reservoirs. They are gaseous in the high-temperature environment of the reservoir, but condense to liquids when they escape the wellbore and are captured by special equipment located on the oil lease. These condensates become part of the crude oil stream. They are highly prized because of the ease in refining them, though they make only a small contribution to world oil supplies.