According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, there are 140 operable refineries in the United States, and at their maximum capacity are able to process 19,134,102 barrels of crude oil per day — and a subset of 4,297,181 barrels of diesel fuel per day and 2,727,384 barrels of gasoline per day.
The refinery location map shown above might provide some insight as to one’s own proximity to where ‘gas comes from’. From the refineries the fuel is transported closer to population centers to facilitate service stations (gas stations), but there’s more to the story…
Imagine a world which has entered tumultuous times in which channels of distribution have been severely disrupted (for whatever the cause or reason), and then imagine the disruption of fuel (gas) while the degree of difficulty in transporting fuel might become significant…
When you see a tanker truck carrying fuel around or offloading at a gas service station, the gasoline or diesel product has most likely been shipped from a ‘terminal’ where the tanker trucks fill up.
Terminals are just a collection of storage tanks and truck offloading facilities that enable convenient resupply of local gas stations. An oil refinery produces gasoline, diesel, and other petroleum products and will transport them underground through pipelines to these terminals. Tanker trucks can then load products from these terminals and distribute fuel to various service stations (gas stations).
While the terminals may be located near population centers and highways, depending on where you live there might not be a terminal very nearby. During a disruptive period, it might be interesting to note your proximity to the various terminals to appreciate the potential difficulty of transportation during a breakdown of distribution.
There are some parts of the country where gasoline (or diesel) needs to be transported significant distances to reach the consumer.
According to your response from a recent post question, When The System Crashes, What Item Will You Have Most Difficulty Re-Supplying?, Fuel (gas, diesel, etc..) is among the top-three.
This inspired today’s post which I thought to discover maps to indicate where the gas comes from before reaching your local service stations.
You might also be curious to re-read the following article, When The Trucks Stop, It’s Over.
Similar to the flow of electricity, gasoline is a life-blood of our modern existence. We take it for granted that there will always be gas at our local gas station.
For your feedback, I’m curious to hear examples of circumstances which might slow, disrupt, damage, or collapse the distribution chains of fuel…
For your interest, the largest three refineries in the United States are located in Port Arthur Texas, Baytown Texas, and Garyville Louisiana. They have a combined total crude oil processing capacity of 1,682,750 barrels per day.