What is the difference between crude oil, petroleum products, and petroleum?
Crude oil is a mixture of hydrocarbons that exists as a liquid in underground geologic formations and remains a liquid when brought to the surface. Petroleum products are produced from the processing of crude oil and other liquids at petroleum refineries, from the extraction of liquid hydrocarbons at natural gas processing plants, and from the production of finished petroleum products at blending facilities. Petroleum is a broad category that includes both crude oil and petroleum products. The terms oil and petroleum are sometimes used interchangeably.
Last reviewed: December 1, 2020
Other FAQs about Oil/Petroleum
- What is the outlook for home heating fuel prices this winter?
- What do I pay for in a gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel?
- When was the last refinery built in the United States?
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- How much oil is consumed in the United States?
- How much oil is used to make plastic?
- Does the world have enough oil to meet our future needs?
- What is the difference between crude oil, petroleum products, and petroleum?
- What are petroleum products, and what is petroleum used for?
- Does EIA have information on U.S. natural gas and oil pipelines?
- How many alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles are there in the United States?
- How much of the crude oil produced in the United States is consumed in the United States?
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- Does EIA have data on the type or quality of crude oil?
- Does EIA have data on the movement (transport) of crude oil, petroleum products, fuel ethanol, and biodiesel by rail?
- Does EIA have data on U.S. oil refineries and their locations?
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- What countries are the top producers and consumers of oil?
- How much petroleum does the United States import and export?
- What types and amounts of energy are produced in each state?
- Does EIA have county-level energy production data?
- How much shale (tight) oil is produced in the United States?
- Does EIA have forecasts or projections for energy production, consumption, and prices for individual states?
- Does EIA have information on unplanned outages or shutdowns of U.S. energy infrastructure?