Definitions, Sources and Explanatory Notes

 Category:   Petroleum Consumption/Sales
 Topic:   Refiner Sales Volumes of Residual Fuel Oil and No. 4 Fuel Oil


Key Terms Definition
Gas Plant Operator Any firm, including a gas plant owner, which operates a gas plant and keeps the gas plant records. A gas plant is a facility in which natural gas liquids are separated from natural gas or in which natural gas liquids are fractionated or otherwise separated into natural gas liquid products or both. For the purposes of this survey, gas plant operator data are contained in the refiner categories.
No. 4 Fuel A distillate fuel oil made by blending distillate fuel oil and residual fuel oil stocks. It conforms with ASTM Specification D 396 or Federal Specification VV-F-815C and is used extensively in industrial plants and in commercial burner installations that are not equipped with preheating facilities. It also includes No. 4 diesel fuel used for low- and medium-speed diesel engines and conforms to ASTM Specification D 975.
Petroleum Administration for Defense District (PADD): PADD 1 (East Coast):
   PADD 1A (New England): Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont.
   PADD 1B (Central Atlantic): Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania.
   PADD 1C (Lower Atlantic): Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia.
PADD 2 (Midwest): Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin.
PADD 3 (Gulf Coast): Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas.
PADD 4 (Rocky Mountain): Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming.
PADD 5 (West Coast): Alaska (North Slope and Other Mainland), Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Washington.
Refiner A firm or the part of a firm that refines products or blends and substantially changes products, or refines liquid hydrocarbons from oil and gas field gases, or recovers liquefied petroleum gases incident to petroleum refining and sells those products to resellers, retailers, reseller/retailers or ultimate consumers. "Refiner" includes any owner of products that contracts to have those products refined and then sells the refined products to resellers, retailers, or ultimate consumers. For the purposes of this survey, gas plant operator data are included in this category.
Residual Fuel Oil A general classification for the heavier oils, known as No. 5 and No. 6 fuel oils, that remain after the distillate fuel oils and lighter hydrocarbons are distilled away in refinery operations. It conforms to ASTM Specifications D 396 and D 975 and Federal Specification VV-F-815C. No. 5, a residual fuel oil of medium viscosity, is also known as Navy Special and is defined in Military Specification MIL-F-859E, including Amendment 2 (NATO Symbol F-770). It is used in steam-powered vessels in government service and inshore powerplants. No. 6 fuel oil includes Bunker C fuel oil and is used for the production of electric power, space heating, vessel bunkering, and various industrial purposes.
Sale The transfer of title from the seller to a buyer for a price. Excludes intrafirm transfers, products consumed directly by the reporting firm, or sales of bonded fuel. Also excludes products delivered/loaned to exchange partners, except where the amount supplied exceeds the amount received and the differential is invoiced as a sale during the reference month.
Sales to End Users Sales made directly to the consumer of the product. Includes bulk consumers, such as agriculture, industry, and utilities, as well as residential and commercial consumers.
Sales for Resale Sales of refined petroleum products to purchasers who are other-than-ultimate consumers; wholesale sales.
Sulfur A yellowish nonmetallic element, sometimes known as "brimstone." It is present at various levels of concentration in many fossil fuels whose combustion releases sulfur compounds that are considered harmful to the environment. Some of the most commonly used fossil fuels are categorized according to their sulfur content, with lower sulfur fuels usually selling at a higher price.

For definitions of related energy terms, refer to the EIA Energy Glossary.


Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-782A, "Refiners'/Gas Plant Operators' Monthly Petroleum Product Sales Report" ( Form/Instructions ,   Background, Survey Methodology and Statistical Details ).

  Explanatory Notes

  • Values shown for the current month are preliminary. Values shown for the previous month may be revised to account for late submissions and corrections and are considered final. Annual averages will be available in the April Petroleum Marketing Monthly.
  • No. 4 fuel includes No. 4 fuel oil and No. 4 diesel fuel.