Definitions, Sources and Explanatory Notes

 Category:   Petroleum Prices
 Topic:   All Sellers Motor Gasoline Prices by Formulation, Grade, Sales Type


Key Terms Definition
Bulk Sales Wholesale sales of gasoline in individual transactions which exceed the size of a truckload.
Conventional 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.
Dealer Tank Wagon Sales (DTW) Wholesale sales of gasoline priced on a delivered basis to a retail outlet.
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.
Gasoline Grades The classification of gasoline by octane ratings. Each type of gasoline (conventional and reformulated) is classified by three grades - regular, midgrade, and premium. Note: gasoline sales are reported by grade in accordance with their classification at the time of sale. In general, automotive octane requirements are lower at high altitudes. Therefore, in some areas of the United States, such as the Rocky Mountain States, the octane ratings for the gasoline grades may be 2 or more octane points lower.
Midgrade Gasoline having an antiknock index, i.e., octane rating, greater than or equal to 88 and less than or equal to 90. Note: Octane requirements may vary by altitude.
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.
Octane Rating A number used to indicate gasoline's antiknock performance in motor vehicle engines. The two recognized laboratory engine test methods for determining the antiknock rating, i.e., octane rating, of gasolines are the Research method and the Motor method. To provide a single number as guidance to the consumer, the antiknock index (R + M)/2, which is the average of the Research and Motor octane numbers, was developed.
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 End Users For motor gasoline, all direct sales to end users other than those made through company outlets. For No. 2 distillate, all direct sales to end users other than residential, commercial/institutional, industrial sales, and sales through company outlets. Included in the "other end users" category are sales to utilities and agricultural users.
Oxygenated Finished motor gasoline, other than reformulated gasoline, having an oxygen content of 2.7 percent or higher by weight and required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to be sold in areas designated by EPA as carbon monoxide (CO) nonattainment areas. Note: Oxygenated gasoline excludes oxygenated fuels program reformulated gasoline (OPRG) and reformulated gasoline blendstock for oxygenate blending (RBOB). Data on gasahol that has at least 2.7 percent oxygen, by weight, and is intended for sale inside CO nonattainment areas are included in data on oxygenated gasoline. Other data on gasahol are included in data on conventional gasoline.
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.
Premium Gasoline having an antiknock index, i.e., octane rating, greater than 90. Note: Octane requirements may vary by altitude.
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.
Rack Sales Wholesale truckload sales or smaller of gasoline where title transfers at a terminal.
RBOB "Reformulated Gasoline Blendstock for Oxygenate Blending" is motor gasoline blending components intended for blending with oxygenates to produce finished reformulated gasoline.
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.
Reformulated 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).
Regular Gasoline having an antiknock index (average of the research octane rating and the motor octane number) greater than or equal to 85 and less than 88. Note: Octane requirements may vary by altitude.
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.
Retail Outlet Any company-owned outlet (e.g., service station) selling gasoline, on-highway diesel fuel, or propane for on-highway vehicle use which is under the direct control of the firm filing the EIA-782 by virtue of the ability to set the retail product price and directly collect all or part of the retail margin. This category includes retail outlets: (1) being operated by salaried employees of the company and/or its subsidiaries and affiliates, and/or (2) involving personnel services contracted by the firm.
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 for Resale Sales of refined petroleum products to purchasers who are other-than-ultimate consumers; wholesale sales.
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.

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 shown for regular gasoline for the current month at the U.S. and PADD levels in the retail outlets and sales for resale categories 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.
  • "Sales to End Users, Average" includes sales through retail outlets as well as all direct sales to end users that were not made through company-operated retail outlets, e.g., sales to agricultural customers, commercial sales, and industrial sales.
  • Beginning January 2007, oxygenated gasoline is included in conventional gasoline.
  • Motor gasoline averages and totals prior to October 1993 include leaded gasoline.
  • Map of PAD Districts and Federal/State motor fuel tax table from the Petroleum Marketing Monthly.