oil refinery

How does my fuel get to the pump?

Oct. 2, 2018
Here’s a breakdown of how the fuel you rely on gets to the station and into your tank.

Fleet operators use fuel every day, but few know how it actually gets to the pump. Do you ever find yourself at the filling station, wondering where the fuel you’re pumping came from?

Diesel fuel’s journey to your truck’s tank all begins at a refinery. CHS, for example, owns and operates two U.S. refineries, located in McPherson, KS, and Laurel, MT, which together produce more than 3 billion gallons of refined fuel every year. 

Here’s a breakdown of how the fuel you rely on gets to the station and into your tank: 

  1. It all starts with crude oil. After oil wells are drilled, crude oil is pumped out of the ground. This is the part of the process most people are familiar with because they can see wells working on the side of the roads.
  1. From ground to unloading. After the crude oil is pumped out of the ground, it’s transported to a nearby unloading station. From the unloading station, the oil is transported to a refinery by pipelines or trucks.
  1. Storage stopover. Before crude oil can become the gasoline or diesel fuel we all rely on, it first makes a stop for storage prior to entering the refinery. Large tanks house crude oil until it can make its way into the refinery process.
  1. Crude oil turns into fuel. Through processing and blending at the refinery, crude oil is made into high-quality diesel fuel and gasoline. Special additives are blended into the fuel that help clean and protect engines and improve fuel economy. The end result is CENEX® PREMIUM DIESEL FUEL and CENEX TOP TIER™ DETERGENT GASOLINE.
  1. The final product. The final refined gasoline and diesel are transported via pipeline and through a distribution network of trucks to various retail locations.
  1. Fuel for sale. Gasoline and diesel are delivered to gas stations across the United States, as well as to cooperatives so it can be sold for agricultural uses. You know the rest—drivers pull up to gas station pumps and get their fuel!

Cenex has 1,500 retail locations in 19 states, so next time you’re on the road and find yourself close to empty, be sure to CHECK FOR THE CENEX LOCATION nearest you.

About the Author

Ron Jessen | Director of Product Management and Business Development

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