Heating oil is refined from crude oil

Heating oil being delivered
Fuel Being Delivered to a Mobile Home

Source: Stock photography (copyrighted)

Did you know?

Heating oil is dyed red.

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires heating oil and distillate fuel oils that are not for highway use to be colored with a red dye. The red color indicates that the fuel is exempt from federal, state, and local taxes applied to fuels sold for use on public roadways. The red color also indicates that the fuel cannot be used legally in vehicles that normally operate on roadways.

Heating oil is a petroleum product used by many Americans, especially in the Northeast, to heat their homes. At refineries, crude oil is processed into different fuels including gasoline, heating oil and diesel fuel, jet fuel/kerosene, and lubricating oil.

Heating oil and diesel fuel are closely related products called distillates. The main difference between the two fuels is that heating oil may contain a greater amount of sulfur than diesel fuel. This fact was generally the case in the past, but it is a distinction that is becoming less useful. All diesel fuel now sold in the United States must have a sulfur content of no more than 15 parts per million. Some of this low-sulfur distillate/diesel fuel oil may actually be sold as heating oil. Several states in the Northeast have begun to require a reduction in the level of sulfur allowed in heating oil (see the April 18, 2012 Today in Energy article).