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Overview of Crude Oil Assay

A Crude Oil Assay is an analysis of the physical and chemical composition of crude oil feedstocks. Each crude oil type has unique molecular, chemical characteristics that are important to refiners, oil traders and producers globally. Assay data assists engineers and refiners in determining if a crude feedstock is compatible for a particular refinery and allows traders to market, forecast and make profitable business decisions. 

Crude evaluations can be a simple yield determination or a complex evaluation of the quality of the crude oil and all of its yielded fractions. Without crude evaluations, there is potential for significant loss in crude investments and/or disruptions in the refining process having yield, quality, production, or environmental impacts.


Definition courtesy of Bureau Veritas Inspectorate.


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Articles about Crude Oil Assay
  • March/April 2013 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Thomas Phan at Bureau Veritas Inspectorate, and Mike Bartholmey at Bureau Veritas Inspectorate

    For crude oil refiners and traders, information is the lifeblood of their operations and business decisions. The information obtained by crude oil assays, which includes physical properties and compositional analysis of a crude oil, provides in-depth insight and serves as an important decision-making tool.

  • March/April 2013 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Hearl E. Mead Jr. at Shell Oil Company

    Over the past few years increased feedstock flexibility has become a growing reality for sustainability of the refining business, requiring processing of more difficult crudes, increased volumes of spot cargoes, and rapid response to crude acceptance requests. Equipment reliability and process safety threats have occurred in the industry from changes in crude supplies or varying crude blends and quality.

  • September/October 2004 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    Corrosion from HCl is a significant problem in many refining and chemical process units, and often the materials solution to HCl corrosion is rather expensive, since the lower cost, more available alloys are usually not resistant to most concentrations of HCl.

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