Why Is Oil Measured in Barrels Per Day? - TheStreet Definition

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When oil was discovered in Titusville, Pa., in 1859, it was loaded into the only large containers available -- whiskey barrels. Over the years the industry standard came to be the 42-gallon barrel, which is still the standard paper measurement for pricing and pumping purposes, although oil rarely sees the inside of a barrel anymore. But in an odd forecasting of today's equipment shortage, the first shortage in Titusville's 1859 oil boom was barrels in which to store oil.

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