Definition of heavy oil in US English:

heavy oil


  • Any of the relatively dense hydrocarbons (denser than water) derived from petroleum, coal tar, and similar materials.

    • ‘The operation requires a steam generator, a plant to separate the heavy oil and water emulsion that is pumped to the surface and facilities to clean the water before it is recycled through the steam generator.’
    • ‘It is irresponsible for scientists to suggest that the large tabulated total energy content of biomass, oil shale, oil sands, heavy oil, and nuclear fission can cover world energy demand for the longterm future.’
    • ‘New technologies will be required in order to make it worthwhile to use tar sands and heavy oils as a fuel source.’
    • ‘Add to this the fact that the vast majority of new projects will produce less refinable heavy oil and it is clear that major supply shortfalls loom, cold weather or hot weather.’
    • ‘A spokesperson said that, if the material in the water was a heavy oil, a clean-up operation would be needed.’
    • ‘The UN issued a proposal Tuesday to ban single-hulled ships from carrying heavy oil in European Union waters.’
    • ‘In addition, many moisturizers are over-loaded with heavy oils that not only attract and trap dirt and toxins, but that literally suffocate the skin as well.’
    • ‘They have very heavy oil which, through a conventional refinery, produces asphalt.’
    • ‘Oil at the red end of the fluorescent spectrum is considered to be produced from source rocks at the onset of oil generation, representing low maturity heavy oils.’
    • ‘What about oil shale in Colorado, tar sands in Canada, and heavy oil in Venezuela?’
    • ‘Most domestic production consists of heavy oil whose sulfur content is so high that it can only be used for converted power and cement plants.’
    • ‘The rest comes from high cost non-conventional oil which is mainly obtained from offshore oil fields in deep water, heavy oils, hostile locations, tars and bitumen.’
    • ‘Although some heavy oils may be unaltered immature oils, most are thought to be derived from normal crude oils that have been altered by biodegradation, water washing, oxidation, or loss of volatiles.’
    • ‘Moisturizers that contain mostly heavy oils may help to retain moisture on a ‘need to fix’ basis, but they can also trap dirt and toxins and prevent the skin from breathing.’
    • ‘Compared to petroleum, these heavy oils present additional refining and environmental problems because of the abundance of nitrogen, oxygen, and metal compounds found in them.’
    • ‘There will be a temptation to go all out for extracting oil and gas from heavy oil shales, tar sands and coal.’
    • ‘Three years later, Venezuela doubled its reserves by the inclusion of large amounts of heavy oil, which had been known for many years but not previously counted as reserves.’
    • ‘In addition, heavy oil production uses increasingly scarce natural gas to heat the oil so that it will flow from its source rock.’
    • ‘We used to be in coal and heavy oils, and we had probably around about 80% of our hydrocarbon capacity in that end of the spectrum, and about 20% in gas.’
    • ‘In Europe, gasoline became extremely scarce, and the German army had to rely on cruder types of gasoline that were produced from coal and heavy oil.’