Definitions, Sources and Explanatory Notes

 Category:   Petroleum Prices
 Topic:   Refiner Acquisition Cost of Crude Oil


Key Terms Definition
Composite The weighted average of domestic and imported crude oil costs.
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.
    Domestic Crude oil produced in the U.S. or from its "outer continental shelf" as defined in 43 U.S.C. 1331.
    Imported Crude oil produced outside the U.S. and brought into the U.S.
    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.
    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.
    Refiner Acquisition Cost of Crude Oil The cost of crude oil, including transportation and other fees paid by the refiner. The refiner acquisition cost does not include the cost of crude oil purchased for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).

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


  • 1974-January 1976: Federal Energy Administration (FEA), Form FEA-96, "Monthly Cost Allocation Report."

  • February 1976-June 1978: FEA, Form FEA-P110-M-1, "Refiners' Monthly Cost Allocation Report."

  • July 1978-December 1980: Form ERA-49, "Domestic Crude Oil Entitlements Program Refiners' Monthly Report."

  • January 1981-present: Form EIA-14, "Refiners' Monthly Cost Report." ( Form/Instructions , Background,Survey Methodology and Statistical Details )

  •   Explanatory Notes

  • Values shown for the U.S. in 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. See Petroleum Marketing Monthly Preface for 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. Final revisions to monthly and annual values are available upon publication of the June Petroleum Marketing Monthly. Annual averages that precede the release of the June Petroleum Marketing Monthly are calculated from monthly data. Data through 2021 are final.
  • For purposes of this survey, the United States includes the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and all American territories and possessions.
  • Map of PAD Districts and Federal/State motor fuel tax table from the Petroleum Marketing Monthly.