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PETROLEUM 101
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GAS TIPS 101

Here are some quick tips on how to get more miles to the gallon:

*Drive The Limit
The more you observe the speed limit and maintain a steady speed limit, the farther your gas will take you.  This is a reason you get more miles to the gallon on the highway---less stop and go traffic.

*Keep Your Car Light
The less baggage, trash, and accessories you keep in your car and trunk, the less your car will weigh, therefore optimizing the energy needed to make it accelerate and stop.

*Be More Efficient
Planning is key when determining how far your gas will go.  The more efficient you are in planning several trips into one, the more you force your car to get better mileage.  Smart planning is key.

*Hybrid Cars
Of course, fuel efficient cars are the trendiest automobiles in the market - and there's a reason...they save.  Green cars will allow you to get the biggest bang for your buck when buying fuel and the savings will pay for the car in the long run.
Petroleum is the single largest source of energy in the U.S. The industry includes the global processes of exploration, extraction, refining, transporting - often by oil tankers and pipelines - and marketing petroleum products. The largest volume products of the industry are fuel oil and gasoline (petrol). Petroleum is also the raw material for many chemical products, including pharmaceuticals, solvents, fertilizers, pesticides, and plastics. The industry is usually divided into three major components: upstream, midstream, and downstream. The upstream category is composed of the exploration and production of oil, the midstream sector is categorized by the processing, storage, marketing and transportation of the commodity, and the downstream component includes oil refineries, petrochemical plants, petroleum product distribution, retail outlets and natural gas distribution companies.

Despite the fact that petroleum is used by a majority of the population through various products such as - heating oil, asphalt, lubricants, synthetic rubber, plastics, petrol, diesel, jet fuel, fertilizers, antifreeze, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, natural gas and propane - many people rarely understand the process that crude oil undergoes before it may make it to your gas tank. This journey from crude oil that comes directly from the earth, begins with the refining process.

The most basic refining process separates crude oil into its various components. Crude oil is heated and put into a distillation column where different hydrocarbon components are boiled off and recovered as they condense at different temperatures.

The molecular structure of the input is further changed in processes using heat and pressure as well as catalysts that increase the rate of reactions without being consumed themselves. The characteristics of the gasoline produced depend on the type of crude oil that is used and the setup of the refinery where it is produced. Gasoline characteristics are also affected by other ingredients that may be blended into it, such as ethanol. Most of the fuel ethanol added to gasoline is made from corn grown in the United States. The gasoline performance must meet industry standards and environmental regulations that vary by location.
After crude oil is refined into gasoline and other petroleum products, the products must be distributed to consumers. The majority of gasoline is shipped first by pipeline to storage terminals near consuming areas and then loaded into trucks for delivery to individual gas stations. Gasoline and other products are sent through shared pipelines in “batches.” Since these batches are not physically separated in the pipeline, some mixing or “commingling” of products occurs. This is why the quality of the gasoline and other products must be tested as they enter and leave the pipeline to make sure they meet appropriate specifications. Whenever the product fails to meet local, state, or federal product specifications, it must be removed and trucked back to a refinery for further processing.

Below is a diagram that helps to illustrate this process.



















Petroleum Flow Chart
After shipment through the pipeline, gasoline is typically held in bulk storage terminals that often service many companies. At these terminals, the gasoline is loaded into tanker trucks destined for various retail gas stations. The tanks in these trucks, which can typically hold up to 10,000 gallons, usually have several compartments, enabling them to transport different grades of gasoline or petroleum products. The truck tank is where the special additive packages of gasoline retailers get blended into the gasoline to differentiate one blend from another. In some areas, ethanol may be “splash blended” in the tanker to meet environmental requirements. When the tanker truck reaches a gas station, the truck operator unloads each grade of gasoline into the appropriate underground tanks at the station.

Petroleum is vital to many industries, and is of importance to the maintenance of industrialized civilization itself. The production, distribution, refining, and retailing of petroleum taken as a whole represents the world's largest industry in terms of dollar value. "Source: Energy Information Administration and Wikipedia (Sep 2009)."
  For TIPS on how to save on gas, CLICK HERE or read the quick tips below.