Have you ever wondered what is in a barrel of crude oil? A crude oil barrel measures 42 gallons and can be refined to deliver over 11 different products. The biggest use for crude oil is gasoline which makes up 19.5 gallons. To put this in perspective, it takes roughly one barrel of crude oil to fill a large trucks gas tank. Out of the total 42 gallons only 0.5 gallons can be used to make lubricants. The term lubricants is inclusive of engine oils, additives, gear oils, and the list goes on. It’s pretty clear that it takes a lot of crude oil to produce a very small amount of engine oil. So the next time you think of oil prices just remember that prices are relatively low in comparison to the cost of refining and producing the oil. The fact that only so little lubricant is derived from crude is probably a key driver behind more advanced oil life management systems, extended drain intervals, and mandates from government bodies to improve engine efficiency through oil lubricants. Also see below crude oils relationship to gasoline.


Crude Oil Prices in relations to Gasoline