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 2015, 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 2015, total U.S. petroleum consumption was about 19 million barrels per day (b/d), the equivalent of about 36% of all the energy consumed in the United States.

We use petroleum products to propel vehicles, 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 main petroleum products people consume?

Gasoline is the main petroleum product consumed in the United States. In 2007, motor gasoline consumption reached a record high of about 9.3 million b/d (390 million gallons per day). In 2015, motor gasoline consumption averaged about 9.2 million b/d (385 million gallons per day), or about 47% of total U.S. petroleum consumption.

Petroleum products consumed in 2015
Product Annual consumption (million barrels per day)
Finished motor gasoline1 9.178
Distillate fuel oil (diesel fuel and heating oil)1 3.995
Hydrocarbon gas liquids (HGL) 2.549
Kerosene-type jet fuel 1.548
Still gas 0.683
Petroleum coke 0.349
Asphalt and road oil 0.343
Petrochemical feedstocks 0.331
Residual fuel oil 0.259
Lubricants 0.138
Miscellaneous products and others2 0.089
Special napthas 0.052
Finished aviation gasoline 0.011
Kerosene 0.006
Waxes 0.006
Total petroleum products 19.531

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 Supply Annual, September 2016

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 2015 was about 4 million b/d, or 21% of total petroleum consumption.

Hydrocarbon gas liquids (HGL), the third most-used category of petroleum, include propane, ethane, butane, and other hydrocarbon gas liquids that are produced at natural gas processing plants and oil refineries. HGL consumption in 2015 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 1.5 million b/d of jet fuel was consumed in 2015.

Top five gasoline consuming states, 2015

State Million barrels/day Million gallons/day Share of total U.S. consumption
California 0.93 39.14 11%
Texas 0.90 37.79 10%
Florida 0.49 20.52 6%
New York 0.36 15.03 4%
Illinois 0.31 13.05 4%

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Petroleum and Other Liquids—Prime Supplier Sales Volumes, as of November 17, 2016

How much petroleum does the world consume?

Total world consumption of petroleum in 2014 was about 93 million b/d. The five largest petroleum-consuming countries in 2014, and their share of total world petroleum consumption:

  • United States (21%)
  • China (12%)
  • Japan (5%)
  • India (4%)
  • Russia (4%)