Crude oil is the single largest traded commodity in the world. Proper sampling, analysis, and reporting of data according to established standards is of great importance, especially with the volatility in price and extra heavy crude oils. Whether crude oil is refined in the near-term or stored for an extended period, it is fundamentally important that recognized procedures and standards be used in sampling and analysis. This is true from the time crude oil is produced, through transportation and interim storage, until it is ultimately refined. Analytical data must be accurate and reliable as they are the basis for decisions on whether a given crude oil can be effectively processed. These data are also used by engineering personnel in planning refinery upgrades.