In comparison with heavy oil, light or “conventional” oil flows naturally and can be pumped without being heated or diluted.
Light oil is characterized by an API gravity of at least 22°, and extra-heavy oil has an API gravity of less than 10°.
Natural bitumen, also known as oil sands, shares the characteristics of heavy oil but is even more dense and viscous – with a viscosity greater than 10,000 cP.
Heavy oils typically are not recoverable in their natural state through a well or by ordinary production methods. Most require heat or dilution to flow into a well or through a pipeline.
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Madagascar Oil uses Steam Flooding process to extract its heavy oil.
These are resources that are potentially recoverable but not yet considered mature enough for commercial development due to technological or business hurdles. For contingent resources to move into the reserves category, the key conditions, or contingencies, that prevented commercial development must be clarified and removed. As an example, all required internal and external approvals should be in place or determined to be forthcoming, including environmental and governmental approvals. There also must be evidence of firm intention by a company’s management to proceed with development within a reasonable time frame (typically 5 years, though it could be longer). Adapted from SPE Petroleum Resources Management System
1) Local market supplementing electric generation and other businesses; and
2) International market – especially into the international distribution for bunker fuel and the marine markets