URALS crude oil is a type of crude oil that is produced in Russia. It is a heavy sour crude oil that is mainly used as a feedstock for refineries to produce gasoline, diesel fuel, and other petroleum products. URALS crude oil is traded as a benchmark crude oil in the global market, alongside other benchmark crude oils such as Brent and WTI (West Texas Intermediate).
URALS crude oil is produced mainly in the Western Siberia and Ural regions of Russia, and is typically exported from the ports of Novorossiysk, Primorsk, and Ust-Luga. It is considered to be a relatively high quality crude oil due to its low sulfur content compared to other heavy sour crude oils, which makes it easier to refine into high-quality petroleum products.
URALS crude oil is transported to Europe through the Druzhba pipeline and to Baku through the Novorossiysk pipeline, while the main seaborne importers are China and India since 2022. URALS futures contracts of 1,000 barrels are traded in the St. Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange (SPIMEX).
URALS pricing is also commonly seen as a discount to Brent crude oil. The Urals oil prices displayed in Trading Economics are based on over-the-counter (OTC) and contract-for-difference (CFD) financial instruments. The one-year trend of URALS crude oil pricing is as follows;
The specifications of URALS crude oil can vary depending on the source and grade, but generally, it has the following references:
- Gravity: URALS crude oil has an API gravity of around 31~33 degrees, which makes it a heavy crude oil.
- Sulfur content: URALS crude oil has a sulfur content of around 1.35~1.6%, which makes it a sour crude oil.
- Pour point: The pour point of URALS crude oil is around -21 ~ -27 °C, which means it can become more viscous at colder temperatures.
- Distillation: URALS crude oil has a high boiling point and is typically distilled to produce a range of petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. Distillation yields of URAS crude oil are, C~C4:2.6%, Gasoline: 10%, Kerosene:8%, Diesel: 26% and Atmospheric residue: 47%.
- Acid number: URALS crude oil has an acid number of around 0.2~0.3 mg KOH/g, which measures the amount of acidic compounds present in the crude oil.