A petroleum processing plant
Petroleum processing plant

Source: Stock photography (copyrighted)

An oil pipeline
An Oil Pipeline

Source: Stock photography (copyrighted)

Most of the diesel fuel consumed in the United States is produced in U.S. refineries

U.S. refineries produce diesel fuel from domestically produced crude oil and imported crude oil. In 2014, the United States produced 53% of the crude oil processed in U.S. refineries. A small amount of diesel fuel is imported. In 2014, the volume of imported diesel fuel was equivalent to about 3% of the amount that was consumed.

How does diesel fuel get to a refueling station?

Most diesel fuel is transported by pipeline from refineries and ports to terminals near major consuming areas, where it is then loaded into tanker trucks for delivery to retail service stations. A small amount of diesel fuel is transported by barge and rail.

Diesel fuel and other products are sent through shared pipelines in batches. Because these batches are not physically separated in pipelines, some mixing or commingling of products occurs. This possible mixing is why the quality of the diesel fuel and other products must be tested to make sure they meet appropriate specifications as they enter and leave pipelines. Whenever the products fail to meet local, state, or federal product specifications, the products must either be removed and trucked back to a refinery for further processing, or they must be sold as a different product.