What Is the Transportation Process?


Most gallons of gasoline move a long way by pipeline and a short way by truck. After a gallon of gasoline is refined from crude oil, it goes into a pipeline along with millions of other gallons, and is moved the long distance from a refinery, say one in Texas, to a distribution terminal in a major city, like Memphis, Tennessee. So, first the gallon moves several hundred miles by pipeline, then a truck picks up that gallon along with thousands more and moves it to a local gas station.

Another example is home heating oil that is also produced at a refinery in Texas and moves over 1,000 miles to Linden, New Jersey. There it is loaded onto a barge and taken to Portland, Maine to a distribution terminal where that gallon makes its final trip of 10-30 miles by truck to a homeowner’s fuel oil tank.

These are examples of the integrated nature of the petroleum distribution network in the U.S. Looking at all methods of transportation and the relative distances for each to transport a single gallon, pipelines move the vast majority – about 70% of all petroleum transportation.