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Heavy Crude Oil:

Heavy crude oil or extra heavy crude oil is oil that is highly viscous, and cannot easily flow to production wells under normal reservoir conditions. It is referred to as "heavy" because its density or specific gravity is higher than that of light crude oil. Heavy crude oil has been defined as any liquid petroleum with an API gravity less than 20. Physical properties that differ between heavy crude oils and lighter grades include higher viscosity and specific gravity, as well as heavier molecular composition. In 2010, the World Energy Council defined extra heavy oil as crude oil having a gravity of less than 10 and a reservoir viscosity of no more than 10 000 centipoises. When reservoir viscosity measurements are not available, extra-heavy oil is considered by the WEC to have a lower limit of 4 API. (i.e. with density greater than 1000 kg/m3 or, equivalently, a specific gravity greater than 1 and a reservoir viscosity of no more than 10,000 centipoises.  

Production, transportation, and refining of heavy crude oil present special challenges compared to light crude oil. Generally, a diluent is added at regular distances in a pipeline carrying heavy crude to facilitate its flow.

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