Commenter Judith sparked an answer from me that I thought others might be interested in…crude oil is measured in barrels but do you know what the end result of the refining process is?
It is this:
A 42 gallon barrel of oil makes between 18.5 and 19.5 gallons of gas (depending on the type of crude), the rest is separated in to heating oil, diesel and other lubricants – there is almost no waste – the rest that can’t be used as fuel goes into emulsions – like tar and asphalt.
Oil companies make about 6.2 cents per dollar of product. Your local gas station makes about 1-2 cents per gallon. On a gallon of gas at $3.00, that equates to about 18.6 cents per gallon – the federal gas tax is a flat 18.4 cents per gallon on gas and 24.4 cents per gallon on diesel and various states also tax fuel, so governments in the US make more money on a gallon of gas or diesel than the companies who produce it.
It is much worse in the UK:
The graphics below explain the costs that make up the price of a litre of unleaded at 132.9p (a pound 33, p stands for “pence”) and a litre of diesel at 137.9p so you can see who’s getting the biggest slice of the petrol pie:
1 pound 33 is about $2.10, it takes 3.8 liters to make a US gallon, so gas over here is $7.98 per gallon, since the actual product cost is about 36% of the total, gas with no tax over here would be $2.87 per gallon.