Gasoline Explained – Use of Gasoline

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A gallon a day per person

Americans used about 366 million gallons per day of gasoline in 2012. With about 305 million people in the United States, that equals more than a gallon of gasoline every day for each man, woman, and child. The United States does not produce enough crude oil to make all of the gasoline used by U.S. motorists. Only about 40% of the crude oil used by U.S. refineries is produced in the United States. The rest is imported from other countries.

Gasoline is the number one transportation fuel used in the United States

Gasoline is one of the major fuels consumed in the United States and the main product refined from crude oil. Consumption in 2012 was about 134 billion gallons, an average of about 366 million gallons per day. Gasoline accounts for slightly more than 66% of all the energy used for transportation, 47% of all petroleum consumption, and 18% of total U.S. energy consumption. About 45 barrels of gasoline are produced in U.S. refineries from every 100 barrels of oil refined to make numerous petroleum products.

Most gasoline is used in cars and light trucks. It also fuels boats, recreational vehicles, and farm, construction, and landscaping equipment.

Blog Post 11-29-2013-1

While gasoline is produced year-round, extra volumes are made and imported to meet higher demand in the summer. Gasoline is delivered from oil refineries mainly through pipelines to an extensive distribution chain serving about 162,000 retail gasoline stations in the United States.

254 million vehicles on the road

Today, gasoline is the fuel used by most passenger vehicles in the United States. There are about 254 million vehicles that use gasoline, and they each travel more than 11,618 miles per year. There are about 162,000 fueling stations that provide convenient refueling for consumers. Nearly two-thirds of fuel used for transportation is in the form of gasoline.

Each gasoline station usually sells three grades of gasoline:

  • Regular
  • Midgrade
  • Premium

Octane ratings and seasonal differences

These grades have different “octane ratings” that reflect anti-knock properties. In addition to these different grades of fuel, gasoline sold by a single company may differ depending on location or season. Some areas of the country are required to use special gasolines that reduce the amount of pollution coming from cars.

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