Unless you're in a related field yourself, chances are you aren't intimately familiar with the ins and outs of oil and petroleum. From fuel to the development of synthetic materials, the potential uses are vast, and production and consumption levels are constantly fluctuating. For a better understanding of how we benefit from crude oil and its many products, here are a few frequently asked questions on the topic.
FAQs About Oil & Petroleum
What’s The Difference Between Crude Oil & Petroleum?
Crude oil is a fossil fuel that exists in underground reservoirs or pools in liquid form. This blend of hydrocarbons has its origins in animals and plants that inhabited the planet millions of years ago. Petroleum products come about when crude oil is separated into a usable commodity, with the majority of each barrel going toward the creation of gasoline and other fuel sources.
What Are Some Common Products?
Beyond essentials such as gasoline, heating oil, and jet fuel, petroleum products can be found everywhere. Waxes, asphalt, plastics, lubricating oils, and petrochemical feedstocks are just a few examples of the most commonly-derived goods.
How Much Fuel Can One Oil Barrel Produce?
The number listed above covers all petroleum products that come from a single barrel of crude oil, but how much of that can be used as fuel? In recent years, the average yield for one barrel came to roughly 11 gallons of ultra-low sulfur distillate fuel oil—which will be refined and sold as heating oil and diesel fuel, depending on location—and 20 gallons of gasoline. Yields vary from state to state, though, and are broken down further into kerosene, aviation gasoline, and other categories.
How Much Oil Does The U.S. Consume?
While crude oil isn't used in large quantities in America, the U.S. Energy Information Administration can quantify the number of refined petroleum products consumed throughout the country annually. According to the 2016 report, the U.S. accounted for 7.21 billion barrels, which adds up to nearly 20 million barrels of petroleum products each day.
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