Definitions, Sources and Explanatory Notes

 Category:   Summary
 Topic:   Supply and Disposition Balance

  Definitions

Key Terms Definition
Asphalt A dark-brown-to-black cement-like material containing bitumens as the predominant constituent obtained by petroleum processing; used primarily for road construction. It includes crude asphalt as well as the following finished products: cements, fluxes, the asphalt content of emulsions (exclusive of water), and petroleum distillates blended with asphalt to make cutback asphalts. Note: The conversion factor for asphalt is 5.5 barrels per short ton.
Aviation Gasoline Blending Components Naphthas which will be used for blending or compounding into finished aviation gasoline (e.g., straight-run gasoline, alkylate, reformate, benzene, toluene, and xylene). Excludes oxygenates (alcohols, ethers), butane, and pentanes plus. Oxygenates are reported as other hydrocarbons, hydrogen, and oxygenates.
Barrel A unit of volume equal to 42 U.S. gallons.
Blending Plant A facility which has no refining capability but is either capable of producing finished motor gasoline through mechanical blending or blends oxygenates with motor gasoline.
Butane (C4H10) A normally gaseous straight-chain or branch-chain hydrocarbon extracted from natural gas or refinery gas streams. It includes isobutane and normal butane and is designated in ASTM Specification D1835 and Gas Processors Association Specifications for commercial butane.
Butylene (C4H8) An olefinic hydrocarbon recovered from refinery processes.
Crude Oil A mixture of hydrocarbons that exists in liquid phase in natural underground reservoirs and remains liquid at atmospheric pressure after passing through surface separating facilities. Depending upon the characteristics of the crude stream, it may also include:
  • Small amounts of hydrocarbons that exist in gaseous phase in natural underground reservoirs but are liquid at atmospheric pressure after being recovered from oil well (casinghead) gas in lease separators and are subsequently commingled with the crude stream without being separately measured. Lease condensate recovered as a liquid from natural gas wells in lease or field separation facilities and later mixed into the crude stream is also included;
  • Small amounts of nonhydrocarbons produced with the oil, such as sulfur and various metals;
  • Drip gases, and liquid hydrocarbons produced from tar sands, oil sands, gilsonite, and oil shale.


  • Liquids produced at natural gas processing plants are excluded. Crude oil is refined to produce a wide array of petroleum products, including heating oils; gasoline, diesel and jet fuels; lubricants; asphalt; ethane, propane, and butane; and many other products used for their energy or chemical content.
    Disposition The components of petroleum disposition are stock change, crude oil losses, refinery inputs, exports, and products supplied for domestic consumption.
    Distillate Fuel Oil A general classification for one of the petroleum fractions produced in conventional distillation operations. It includes diesel fuels and fuel oils. Products known as No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4 diesel fuel are used in on-highway diesel engines, such as those in trucks and automobiles, as well as off-highway engines, such as those in railroad locomotives and agricultural machinery. Products known as No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4 fuel oils are used primarily for space heating and electric power generation.
    Ending Stocks Primary stocks of crude oil and petroleum products held in storage as of 12 midnight on the last day of the month. Primary stocks include crude oil or petroleum products held in storage at (or in) leases, refineries, natural gas processing plants, pipelines, tank farms, and bulk terminals that can store at least 50,000 barrels of petroleum products or that can receive petroleum products by tanker, barge, or pipeline. Crude oil that is in-transit by water from Alaska, or that is stored on Federal leases or in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is included. Primary Stocks exclude stocks of foreign origin that are held in bonded warehouse storage.
    Ethane (C2H6) A normally gaseous straight-chain hydrocarbon. It is a colorless paraffinic gas that boils at a temperature of -127.48º F. It is extracted from natural gas and refinery gas streams.
    Ethylene (C2H4) An olefinic hydrocarbon recovered from refinery processes or petrochemical processes.
    Exports Shipments of crude oil and petroleum products from the 50 States and the District of Columbia to foreign countries, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and other U.S. possessions and territories.
    Field Production Represents crude oil production on leases, natural gas liquids production at natural gas processing plants, new supply of other hydrocarbons/oxygenates and motor gasoline blending components, and fuel ethanol blended into finished motor gasoline.
    Finished Aviation Gasoline A complex mixture of relatively volatile hydrocarbons with or without small quantities of additives, blended to form a fuel suitable for use in aviation reciprocating engines. Fuel specifications are provided in ASTM Specification D 910 and Military Specification MIL-G-5572. Note: Data on blending components are not counted in data on finished aviation gasoline.
    Finished Motor Gasoline A complex mixture of relatively volatile hydrocarbons with or without small quantities of additives, blended to form a fuel suitable for use in spark-ignition engines. Motor gasoline, as defined in ASTM Specification D 4814 or Federal Specification VV-G-1690C, is characterized as having a boiling range of 122 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit at the 10 percent recovery point to 365 to 374 degrees Fahrenheit at the 90 percent recovery point. Motor Gasoline includes conventional gasoline; all types of oxygenated gasoline, including gasohol; and reformulated gasoline, but excludes aviation gasoline. Note: Volumetric data on blending components, such as oxygenates, are not counted in data on finished motor gasoline until the blending components are blended into the gasoline.
    Fuel Ethanol (C2H5OH) An anhydrous alcohol (ethanol with less than 1% water) intended for gasoline blending as described in the Oxygenates definition.
    High-Sulfur Distillate Fuel Oil Distillate fuel oil having sulfur content greater than 500 ppm.
    Hydrocarbon An organic chemical compound of hydrogen and carbon in the gaseous, liquid, or solid phase. The molecular structure of hydrocarbon compounds varies from the simplest (methane, a constituent of natural gas) to the very heavy and very complex.
    Hydrogen The lightest of all gases, occurring chiefly in combination with oxygen in water; exists also in acids, bases, alcohols, petroleum, and other hydrocarbons.
    Imports Receipts of crude oil and petroleum products into the 50 States and the District of Columbia from foreign countries, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and other U.S. possessions and territories.
    Imports by PAD District of Entry Represents the PAD District in which the material entered the United States and not necessarily where the crude oil or product is processed and/or consumed.
    Isobutane (C4H10) A normally gaseous branch-chain hydrocarbon. It is a colorless paraffinic gas that boils at a temperature of 10.9º F. It is extracted from natural gas or refinery gas streams.
    Isobutylene (C4H8) An olefinic hydrocarbon recovered from refinery processes or petrochemical processes.
    Jet Fuel Includes Kerosene-type (Commercial or Military) and Naphtha-type.
    Kerosene A light petroleum distillate that is used in space heaters, cook stoves, and water heaters and is suitable for use as a light source when burned in wick-fed lamps. Kerosene has a maximum distillation temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit at the 10-percent recovery point, a final boiling point of 572 degrees Fahrenheit, and a minimum flash point of 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Included are No. 1-K and No. 2-K, the two grades recognized by ASTM Specification D 3699 as well as all other grades of kerosene called range or stove oil, which have properties similar to those of No. 1 fuel oil. See Kerosene-Type Jet Fuel.
    Kerosene-Type Jet Fuel A kerosene-based product having a maximum distillation temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit at the 10-percent recovery point and a final maximum boiling point of 572 degrees Fahrenheit and meeting ASTM Specification D 1655 and Military Specifications MIL-T-5624P and MIL-T-83133D (Grades JP-5 and JP-8). It is used for commercial and military turbojet and turboprop aircraft engines.
    Liquefied Petroleum Gases (LPG) A group of hydrocarbon-based gases derived from crude oil refining or nautral gas fractionation. They include: ethane, ethylene, propane, propylene, normal butane, butylene, isobutane, and isobutylene. For convenience of transportation, these gases are liquefied through pressurization.
    Liquefied Refinery Gas (LRG) Liquefied petroleum gases fractionated from refinery or still gases. Through compression and/or refrigeration, they are retained in the liquid state. The reported categories are ethane/ethylene, propane/propylene, normal butane/butylene, and isobutane/isobutylene. Excludes still gas.
    Low-Sulfur Distillate Fuel Oil Distillate fuel oil having sulfur content greater than 15 ppm to 500 ppm. Low sulfur distillate fuel oil also includes product with sulfur content equal to or less than 15 ppm if the product is intended for pipeline shipment and the pipeline has a sulfur specification below 15 ppm.
    Lubricants Substances used to reduce friction between bearing surfaces or as process materials either incorporated into other materials used as processing aids in the manufacture of other products, or used as carriers of other materials. Petroleum lubricants may be produced either from distillates or residues. Lubricants include all grades of lubricating oils from spindle oil to cylinder oil and those used in greases.
    Miscellaneous Products Includes all finished products not classified elsewhere (e.g., petrolatum, lube refining byproducts (aromatic extracts and tars), absorption oils, ram-jet fuel, petroleum rocket fuels, synthetic natural gas feedstocks, and specialty oils).
    Motor Gasoline Blending Components Naphthas (e.g., straight-run gasoline, alkylate, reformate, benzene, toluene, xylene) used for blending or compounding into finished motor gasoline. These components include reformulated gasoline blendstock for oxygenate blending (RBOB) but exclude oxygenates (alcohols, ethers), butane, and pentanes plus. Note: Oxygenates are reported as individual components and are included in the total for other hydrocarbons, hydrogens, and oxygenates.
    Naphtha-Type Jet Fuel A fuel in the heavy naphtha boiling range having an average gravity of 52.8 degrees API, 20 to 90 percent distillation temperatures of 290 degrees to 470 degrees Fahrenheit, and meeting Military Specification MIL-T-5624L (Grade JP-4). It is used primarily for military turbojet and turboprop aircraft engines because it has a lower freeze point than other aviation fuels and meets engine requirements at high altitudes and speeds.
    Natural Gas Plant Liquids Those hydrocarbons in natural gas that are separated as liquids at natural gas processing plants, fractionating and cycling plants, and, in some instances, field facilities. Lease condensate is excluded. Products obtained include ethane; liquefied petroleum gases (propane, butanes, propane-butane mixtures, ethane-propane mixtures); isopentane; and other small quantities of finished products, such as motor gasoline, special naphthas, jet fuel, kerosene, and distillate fuel oil.
    Net Receipts The difference between total movements into and total movements out of each PAD District by pipeline, tanker, and barge.
    Normal Butane (C4H10) A normally gaseous straight chain hydrocarbon that is a colorless paraffinic gas which boils at a temperature of 31.1 degrees Fahrenheit.
    OPRG "Oxygenated Fuels Program Reformulated Gasoline" is reformulated gasoline which is intended for use in an oxygenated fuels program control area during an oxygenated fuels program control period.
    Other Gasoline or Conventional Gasoline Finished motor gasoline not included in the oxygenated or reformulated gasoline categories. Excludes reformulated gasoline blendstock for oxygenate blending (RBOB) as well as other blendstock.
    Other Hydrocarbons Materials received by a refinery and consumed as a raw material. Includes hydrogen, coal tar derivatives, gilsonite, and natural gas received by the refinery for reforming into hydrogen. Natural gas to be used as fuel is excluded.
    Oxygenated Gasoline Finished motor gasoline, other than reformulated gasoline, having an oxygen content of 2.7 percent or higher by weight. Includes gasohol. Note: Oxygenated gasoline excludes oxygenated fuels program reformulated gasoline (OPRG) and reformulated gasoline blendstock for oxygenate blending (RBOB).
    Oxygenates Substances which, when added to gasoline, increase the amount of oxygen in that gasoline blend. Ethanol, Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE), Ethyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (ETBE), and methanol are common oxygenates.
  • Fuel Ethanol: Blends of up to 10 percent by volume anhydrous ethanol (200 proof) (commonly referred to as the "gasohol waiver").
  • Methanol: Blends of methanol and gasoline-grade tertiary butyl alcohol (GTBA) such that the total oxygen content does not exceed 3.5 percent by weight and the ratio of methanol to GTBA is less than or equal to 1. It is also specified that this blended fuel must meet ASTM volatility specifications (commonly referred to as the "ARCO" waiver).
    Blends of up to 5.0 percent by volume methanol with a minimum of 2.5 percent by volume cosolvent alcohols having a carbon number of 4 or less (i.e., ethanol, propanol, butanol, and/or GTBA). The total oxygen must not exceed 3.7 percent by weight, and the blend must meet ASTM volatility specifications as well as phase separation and alcohol purity specifications (commonly referred to as the "DuPont" waiver).
  • MTBE (Methyl tertiary butyl ether): Blends up to 15.0 percent by volume MTBE which must meet the ASTM D4814 specifications. Blenders must take precautions that the blends are not used as base gasolines for other oxygenated blends (commonly referred to as the "Sun" waiver).
  • Pentanes Plus A mixture of hydrocarbons, mostly pentanes and heavier, extracted from natural gas. Includes isopentane, natural gasoline, and plant condensate.
    Petrochemical Feedstocks Chemical feedstocks derived from petroleum principally for the manufacture of chemicals, synthetic rubber, and a variety of plastics. The categories reported are:
  • Naphtha Less Than 401º F. - A naphtha with a boiling range of less than 401º F that is intended for use as a petrochemical feedstock.
  • Other Oils Equal To or Greater Than 401º F. - Oils with a boiling range of equal to or greater than 401º F that are intended for use as a petrochemical feedstock.
  • Petroleum Administration for Defense (PAD) Districts Geographic aggregations of the 50 States and the District of Columbia into five districts by the Petroleum Administration for Defense in 1950. These districts were originally defined during World War II for purposes of administering oil allocation. Description and maps of PAD Districts and Refining Districts.
    Petroleum Coke A residue high in carbon content and low in hydrogen that is the final product of thermal decomposition in the condensation process in cracking. This product is reported as marketable coke or catalyst coke. The conversion is 5 barrels (of 42 U.S. gallons each) per short ton. Coke from petroleum has a heating value of 6.024 million Btu per barrel.
    Petroleum Products Petroleum products are obtained from the processing of crude oil (including lease condensate), natural gas, and other hydrocarbon compounds. Petroleum products include unfinished oils, liquefied petroleum gases, pentanes plus, aviation gasoline, motor gasoline, naphtha-type jet fuel, kerosene-type jet fuel, kerosene, distillate fuel oil, residual fuel oil, petrochemical feedstocks, special naphthas, lubricants, waxes, petroleum coke, asphalt, road oil, still gas, and miscellaneous products.
    Propane (C3H8) A normally gaseous straight-chain hydrocarbon. It is a colorless paraffinic gas that boils at a temperature of -43.67o F. It is extracted from natural gas or refinery gas streams. It includes all products designated in ASTM Specification D1835 and Gas Processors Association Specifications for commercial propane and HD-5 propane.
    Propylene (C3H6) An olefinic hydrocarbon recovered from refinery processes or petrochemical processes.
    Product Supplied Approximately represents consumption of petroleum products because it measures the disappearance of these products from primary sources, i.e., refineries, natural gas processing plants, blending plants, pipelines, and bulk terminals. In general, product supplied of each product in any given period is computed as follows: field production, plus renewable fuels and oxygenate plant net production, plus refinery and blender net production, plus imports, plus net receipts, plus adjustments, minus stock change, minus refinery and blender net inputs, minus exports.
    Product Supplied, Crude Oil Crude oil burned on leases and by pipelines as fuel.
    RBOB "Reformulated Gasoline Blendstock for Oxygenate Blending" is motor gasoline blending components intended for blending with oxygenates to produce finished reformulated gasoline.
    Refinery An installation that manufactures finished petroleum products from crude oil, unfinished oils, natural gas liquids, other hydrocarbons, and oxygenates.
    Refinery Input, Crude Oil Total crude oil (domestic plus foreign) input to crude oil distillation units and other refinery processing units (cokers, etc.).
    Refinery Input, Total The raw materials and intermediate materials processed at refineries to produce finished petroleum products. They include crude oil, products of natural gas processing plants, unfinished oils, other hydrocarbons and oxygenates, motor gasoline and aviation gasoline blending components and finished petroleum products.
    Renewable Fuels (Other) Fuels and fuel blending components, except biomass-based diesel fuel, renewable diesel fuel, and fuel ethanol, produced from renewable biomass.
    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 D396 and D975 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.
    Refinery Production Petroleum products produced at a refinery or blending plant. Published production of these products equals refinery production minus refinery input. Negative production will occur when the amount of a product produced during the month is less than the amount of that same product that is reprocessed (input) or reclassified to become another product during the same month. Refinery production of unfinished oils, and motor and aviation gasoline blending components appear on a net basis under refinery input.
    Reformulated Gasoline (RFG) Finished motor gasoline formulated for use in motor vehicles, the composition and properties of which meet the requirements of the reformulated gasoline regulations promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Section 211(k) of the Clean Air Act. This category includes oxygenated fuels program reformulated gasoline (OPRG) but excludes reformulated gasoline blendstock for oxygenate blending (RBOB).
    Road Oil Any heavy petroleum oil, including residual asphaltic oil used as a dust pallative and surface treatment on roads and highways. It is generally produced in six grades from 0, the most liquid, to 5, the most viscous.
    Stock Change The difference between stocks at the beginning of the month and stocks at the end of the month. A negative number indicates a decrease in stocks and a positive number indicates an increase in stocks.
    Stocks Inventories of fuel stored for future use. Stocks are reported as of the last day of the period (e.g., week or month).
    Special Naphthas All finished products within the naphtha boiling range that are used as paint thinners, cleaners, or solvents. These products are refined to a specified flash point. Special naphthas include all commercial hexane and cleaning solvents conforming to ASTM Specification D1836 and D484, respectively. Naphthas to be blended or marketed as motor gasoline or aviation gasoline, or that are to be used as petrochemical and synthetic natural gas (SNG) feedstocks are excluded.
    Still Gas Any form or mixture of gases produced in refineries by distillation, cracking, reforming, and other processes. The principal constituents are methane, ethane, ethylene, normal butane, butylene, propane, propylene, etc. Still gas is used as a refinery fuel and a petrochemical feedstock. The conversion factor is 6 million BTU's per fuel oil equivalent barrel.
    Sulfur A yellowish nonmetallic element, sometimes known as "brimstone." It is present at various levels of concentration in many fossil fuels.
    Supply The components of petroleum supply are field production, refinery production, imports, and net receipts when calculated on a PAD District basis.
    Ultra-Low Sulfur Distillate Fuel Oil Distillate fuel oil having sulfur content of 15 ppm or lower. Ultra-low sulfur distillate fuel oil that will be shipped by pipeline must satisfy the sulfur specification of the shipping pipeline if the pipeline specification is below 15 ppm. Distillate fuel oil intended for pipeline shipment that fails to meet a pipeline sulfur specification that is below 15 ppm will be classified as low-sulfur distillate fuel oil.
    Unfinished Oils All oils requiring further processing, except those requiring only mechanical blending. Unfinished oils are produced by partial refining of crude oil and include naphthas and lighter oils, kerosene and light gas oils, heavy gas oils, and residuum.
    Wax A solid or semi-solid material at 77 degrees Fahrenheit consisting of a mixture of hydrocarbons obtained or derived from petroleum fractions, or through a Fischer-Tropsch type process, in which the straight-chained paraffin series predominates. This includes all marketable wax, whether crude or refined, with a congealing point (ASTM D 938) between 80 (or 85) and 240 degrees Fahrenheit and a maximum oil content (ASTM D 3235) of 50 weight percent.

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

      Sources

  • Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-810, "Monthly Refinery Report".
  • Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-811, "Monthly Bulk Terminal Report".
  • Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-812, "Monthly Product Pipeline Report".
  • Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-813, "Monthly Crude Oil Report".
  • Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-814, "Monthly Imports Report".
  • Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-815, "Monthly Bulk Terminal And Blender Report".
  • Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-816, "Monthly Natural Gas Liquids Report".
  • Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-817, "Monthly Tanker and Barge Movements Report".
  • Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-819, "Monthly Oxygenate Report".
  • Export data from the Bureau of the Census and Form EIA-810.
  • Crude Oil Production
    - 1920-1975: Bureau of Mines, Mineral Industry Surveys.
    - 1976-1980: Energy Information Administration, Energy Data Reports.
    - 1981-Current: Energy Information Administration estimates published in the Petroleum Supply Annual and Petroleum Supply Monthly reports, based on crude oil production data from State Government agencies and the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (and predecessor agencies), and first purchase data reported on Form EIA-182,“Domestic Crude Oil First Purchase Report.
  • EIA Forms & Instructions .
  • Background, Survey Methodology and Statistical Details .

  •   Explanatory Notes

  • Imports at the PAD District level represent the PAD District in which the material entered the U.S. and not necessarily where the crude oil or product is processed and/or consumed.
  • PAD District level net receipts includes implied net receipts for fuel ethanol and oxygenates (excluding fuel ethanol). Implied net receipts are calculated as the sum of stock change, refinery and blender net inputs, and exports minus the sum of renewable fuels and oxygenate plant net production, imports, and adjustments.
  • Crude oil includes data for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. See U.S. Crude Oil Supply and Disposition for the breakout of Commercial Crude Oil.
  • Domestic crude oil field production are estimates.
  • Adjustments include an adjustment for crude oil, previously referred to as "Unaccounted For Crude Oil." Also included is an adjustment for motor gasoline blending components, fuel ethanol, and distillate fuel oil. More details (See Note 3).
  • A negative stock change indicates a decrease in stocks and a positive number indicates an increase in stocks.
  • Stocks of crude oil and total crude oil and petroleum products include stocks of crude oil held in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
  • Total stocks do not include distillate fuel oil stocks located in the "Northeast Heating Oil Reserve." More details.
  • Total residual fuel oil stocks include stocks held at pipelines. Residual fuel oil stocks by sulfur content exclude pipeline stocks. Therefore, the sum of residual fuel oil stocks by sulfur content may not equal total residual fuel oil stocks.
  • Exports of distillate fuel oil with sulfur greater than 15 ppm to 500 ppm may include distillate fuel oil with sulfur content 15 ppm and under due to product detail limitations in exports data received from the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • LRG = Liquefied Refinery Gas.
  • Totals may not equal sum of components due to independent rounding.