Provided herewith is a novel method of controllably processing a dielectric fluid by creating discharges within the dielectric fluid from mobile charge carriers contained within the dielectric fluid. Generally, the dielectric fluid and the mobile charge carriers are between two electrodes which apply a voltage to the charge carriers. In one embodiment, the dielectric fluid is a hydrocarbon fluid such as a heavy crude oil or a fuel. In one embodiment the charge carrier comprises water droplets. In another embodiment, the mobile charge carriers are metallic balls. In both instances the discharges initiate from the mobile charge carriers.