Crude oil and other liquids produced from fossil fuels are refined into petroleum products that people use for many different purposes. Biofuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel, are also used as petroleum products, mainly in mixtures with gasoline and diesel fuel.

Did you know?

In 2016, nearly three-fourths of total U.S. petroleum consumption was in the transportation sector.

The United States consumes more energy from petroleum than from any other energy source. In 2016, total U.S. petroleum consumption was about 19.7 million barrels per day (b/d), the equivalent of about 37% of all the energy consumed in the United States.

We use petroleum products to propel vehicles, to heat buildings, and to produce electricity.

The petrochemical industry uses petroleum as a raw material (a feedstock) to make products such as plastics, polyurethane, solvents, and hundreds of other intermediate and end-user goods.

What are the petroleum products people consume most?

Gasoline is the most consumed petroleum product in the United States. In 2016, motor gasoline consumption averaged about 9.3 million b/d (391 million gallons per day), the largest amount recorded and equal to about 47% of total U.S. petroleum consumption.

Petroleum products consumed in 2016
Product Annual consumption (million barrels per day)
Finished motor gasoline1 9.317
Distillate fuel oil (diesel fuel and heating oil)1 3.877
Hydrocarbon gas liquids (HGL) 2.536
Kerosene-type jet fuel 1.614
Still gas 0.697
Asphalt and road oil 0.351
Petroleum coke 0.345
Residual fuel oil 0.326
Petrochemical feedstocks 0.323
Lubricants 0.130
Miscellaneous products and others2 0.096
Special napthas 0.049
Finished aviation gasoline 0.011
Kerosene 0.009
Waxes 0.006
Total petroleum products 19.687

1Includes fuel ethanol in gasoline and biodiesel in distillate fuels.
2Others includes other liquids not included in the table.
Note: Sum of individual products may not equal total due to independent rounding.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Petroleum and Other Liquids—Product Supplied, as of September 13, 2017

Distillate fuel oil is the second most-consumed petroleum product in the United States. Distillate fuel oil includes diesel fuel and heating oil. Diesel fuel is used in the diesel engines of heavy construction equipment, trucks, buses, tractors, boats, trains, some automobiles, and electricity generators. Heating oil, also called fuel oil, is used in boilers and furnaces for heating homes and buildings, for industrial heating, and for producing electricity in power plants. Total distillate fuel oil consumption in 2016 was about 3.9 million b/d, or 20% of total U.S. petroleum consumption.

Hydrocarbon gas liquids (HGL), the third most-used category of petroleum in the United States, include propane, ethane, butane, and other hydrocarbon gas liquids that are produced at natural gas processing plants and oil refineries. HGL consumption in 2016 was about 2.5 million b/d. The petrochemical industry uses HGL as feedstock for making many products.

Propane, a heavily consumed HGL, is also used in homes for space heating and water heating, for clothes drying, for cooking, for heating greenhouses and livestock housing, for drying crops, and as a transportation fuel.

Jet fuel is the fourth most-used petroleum product in the United States. About 1.6 million b/d of jet fuel was consumed in 2016.

Top five gasoline consuming states, 2016

State Million barrels/day Million gallons/day Share of total U.S. consumption
California 0.95 39.97 11%
Texas 0.94 39.35 11%
Florida 0.49 20.71   6%
New York 0.37 15.53   4%
Georgia 0.32 13.51   4%

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Petroleum and Other Liquids—Prime Supplier Sales Volumes, as of August 21, 2017

How much petroleum does the world consume?

Total world consumption of petroleum in 2015 was about 93 million b/d. The five largest petroleum-consuming countries in 2015, and their shares of total world petroleum consumption:

  • United States—20.5%
  • China—12.6%
  • Japan—4.3%
  • India—4.3%
  • Russia—3.7%