How much gasoline can be made from one barrel of crude oil?

1 barrel of crude oil = 42 US gallons (159 liters or 35 imperial gallons). It produces from about 35 percent to 42 percent of gasoline or petrol, plus many other products such as kerosene, etc.

More detail:

The yield of gasoline from crude oil depends upon the quality of the crude oil ("Crude Type"), and the amount and type of processing at the refinery.

So called "light" crude yields usually more gasoline per barrel than "heavy" crude, for a given amount of refinery processing. That a crude is "sweet" refers to sulphur content, - sweet makes it low sulphur and sour high sulphur, and a "package" to remove sulphur is called a "Crude Sweetener". Producing gasoline involves two steps in the refinery, beside post-processing. First is the distillation of the gasoline stream from the crude, and then the refomation of this to "hike it up". The final refomation is to adjust to the actual "Octane" numbers and add ingredients to make it suited for cars - such as lead in old days, now various alcohols and glycol to achieve the same.

More extensive processing -- cracking, reformation, etc. -- can greatly improve yields, but of course, at the cost of the increased processing. Overall, refineries in the USA are yielding about 49% gasoline (20.5 gallons) from the mix of crudes they process (2004 data).

Actually, a barrel of oil is 42 gallons. When the barrel is processed, you may get something like 15 gallons of gasoline, 9 gal. of fuel oil (See Gasoil / D2), 10 gal. of jet fuel (Kerosene) and 4 gal of other "heavy" products such as lubricants, grease, asphalt / bitumene and plastics and 4 gallons of lighter condensates/naphtha.

In energy equivalents, 1 barrel=42 u.s. gallons of oil is estimated to be around 19.5 u.s. gallons of gas (natural gas).

Not disputing the answer at all, but if crude is now $80 per barrel, this should make gasoline nearly $1,90 per gallon, and this without refining and transport costs and assumes that the other cuts of the crude can be sold to the same price!

Depending on where you are the response varies. When oil is refined, there are number of products that will result from the refining process, including gas, diesel, and other products. Depending on the "feedstock" of the refinery and what production goals were in mind in constructing the refinery, the output of gasoline, diesel, and other products varies. For example, in the US, the refineries are aimed at maximum output of gasoline, so the crude types that are used produce about 2 liters of oil to process about 1 liter of gasoline. Change this, say use Canadian tar sand instead - and you will need 4 times the quantity of crude for the same amount of gasoline. In EU however, more crude types are used, and the gasoline cut differs, i.e. 1.5 to 3.0 liters. That a refinery process heavy crude will usually result in a good supply to the chemical industry of complex hydro-carbons that can be used to make e.g. Kevlar, resins for glue and fiberglass, and advance plastics. These plants will pay well for the chemicals, so operating a refinery is managing a complex equation. You may have a good agreement for producing the complex chemicals, there is a good market with a predicable price for gasoline, heating oil and jetfuel / kerosene - while the residue, huge amounts of bitumen or tar can only be sold at a low price as road and roof covering.


In a barrel (42gal) of crude you need to divide it into separate parts. These parts are roughly:
  • Naphta and other condensates that are liquid. 2gal
  • Kerosene, where most is jet-fuel 4gal
  • Unleaded gasoline 20gal
  • Diesel fuel and heating/furnace oil 10gal
  • Engine oil .5gal
  • Gear oil .5gal
  • Grease .5gal
  • Tar/asphalt 1gal

So in a barrel of crude you can see that a small percentage actually becomes gasoline <45%.

The standard barrel of crude oil or other petroleum product (abbreviated BBL) is 42 US gallons (34.972 Imperial gallons or 158.987 L)- In short 158.987 litres of crude oil make 1 barrel. To the ISO system - the oil companies and surveyors use 7.3 BBL per MT, and 304 gallons (GLN) per MT - regardless of product and specific weight.


The cost of gasoline and how the fees are attached to each and every gallon depends on a multitude of factors. First, is the cost of buying crude which is fixed at market prices. The crude oil has a baseline price to account for research and development, surveying, and extraction costs. There is a little amount added for corporate profits as well. These prices may vary with the demand and availability which is influenced by stock market traders buying and selling futures. Second, is the refining and delivery costs, including the retailer at the pump. Third, is the taxes applied to each gallon to pay for road construction and repair/maintenance. Fourth, is added fees for environmental cleanup and waste product disposal.

So, that gallon of gas may cost $2.00 to make but taxes, fees, etc. could and drive the prices to $4.50 and up. Next time you're filling up, look at the pump. Posted are the taxes and fees that are added to each gallon of gas. It will make you wonder where all that money goes.