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Q: Crude oil refining ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Crude oil refining
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: corkypq-ga
List Price: $3.00
Posted: 22 Apr 2003 04:12 PDT
Expires: 22 May 2003 04:12 PDT
Question ID: 193727
On average, what percentage of gasoline can be refined from a barrel of crude oil?
Subject: Re: Crude oil refining
Answered By: feilong-ga on 22 Apr 2003 05:40 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi Corkypq,

According to, a Barrel is a volumetric unit of measurement
for crude oil and petroleum products. Based on the two references
below, there are 42 U.S. gallons in a barrel of oil:

Platts Global Energy
Glossary -- Barrel

California Energy Commission Update:
Gasoline Supplies and Prices in California

Based on "Life Barrel of Oil: Facts About Oil", published by the
American Petroleum Institute, there are 19.4 gallons per Barrel of
crude oil:

View in HTML
View in PDF (You can download the file by right-clicking on the link
and choosing "Save Target As...")

Based on the references above:

19.4  42 x 100 = 46.2 (46.1904761904761904761904761904762)

46.2 percent of a barrel of oil can be made into gasoline.

However, some sources say that a barrel yields 19.5 - 20 gallons of

An example:
U.S. Geological Survey
Zeolites, by Robert L. Virta (20 gallons of gasoline per barrel)
View in HTML
View in PDF

Hence, given these info:

19.4 + 19.5 + 20 = 58.9

58.9  3 = 19.6 gallons of gasoline per barrel (average)

19.63  42 x 100 = 46.7 (46.7380952380952380952380952380952)

46.7 percent of a barrel of oil can be made into gasoline (average)

In case you want to know more, you can search through the results of
the last links below.

Search strategy:

"gallons in a barrel"

"gallons of gasoline per barrel"

average gasoline "barrel of oil"

I hope this helps you. Should you have any comments/questions, please
feel free to post your clarification before rating this and I'll
attend to you as soon as possible. Thanks for asking.

Best regards,
corkypq-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
very complete, just what I was looking for.

Subject: Re: Crude oil refining
From: jonmm-ga on 22 Apr 2003 06:06 PDT
As an interesting related note, oil refining is one of the only
processes where you end up with more than you started.  Crude oil is
processed into a variety of end products which have more mass than the
oil they started out with.
Subject: Re: Crude oil refining
From: feilong-ga on 22 Apr 2003 08:23 PDT
Thanks Corkypq. I really appreciate the high rating.
Subject: Re: Crude oil refining
From: feilong-ga on 22 Apr 2003 08:25 PDT
Thanks Jonmm for adding additional info to my answer.

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