Definitions, Sources and Explanatory Notes

 Category:   Petroleum Prices
 Topic:   Residual Fuel Prices by Sales Type


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.
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.
Price (Unit Price) Total revenue derived from the sale of product during the reference month divided by the total volume sold; also known as the weighted average price. Total revenue should exclude all taxes but include transportation costs that were paid as part of the purchase price.
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.
Reseller A firm (other than a refiner) that is engaged in a trade or business that buys refined petroleum products and then sells them to a purchaser who is not the ultimate consumer of those refined products.
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.
Retailer A firm (other than a refiner, reseller, or reseller/retailer) that carries on the trade or business of purchasing refined petroleum products and reselling them to ultimate consumers without substantially changing their form.
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, Forms EIA-782A, "Refiners'/Gas Plant Operators' Monthly Petroleum Product Sales Report" and EIA-782B, "Resellers'/Retailers' Monthly Petroleum Product Sales Report" ( Form/Instructions ,   Background, Survey Methodology and Statistical Details ).

  Explanatory Notes

  • Values of U.S. residual fuel oil for the current month are initial estimates calculated using prior history of the series as well as present and past values of other related time series, such as spot prices and heating degree days. More details.
  • For all other data, 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.
  • Some State data are not sufficient for publication, but are used in calculating the PAD District average.
  • Map of PAD Districts and Federal/State motor fuel tax table from the Petroleum Marketing Monthly.