Even though most people use fuel in some capacity every day, very few consumers know details about the refined fuel distribution pipeline. Do you ever find yourself at the gas station, thinking about how the fuel you’re pumping got to the pump or where it came from?
Well, we have your answer. CHS produces more than 3 billion gallons of refined fuel every year, primarily from our two U.S. refineries located in McPherson, Kansas and Laurel, Montana. And we are proud to help power the lives of Americans across the country.
Below is a brief breakdown of how the fuel you rely on gets to the gas 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 consumers are familiar with because they can see wells working on the side of the roads.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Crude oil turns into fuel
Through processing and blending at the refinery, crude oil is made into high-quality gasoline and diesel fuel. 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.
5. The final product
The final refined gasoline and diesel are transported via pipeline and through a distribution network of trucks to various retail locations.
6. Cenex 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—customers pull up to gas station pumps and get their fuel!
To learn even more about this process, check out the National Public Radio’s Planet Money series that features the CHS refining system.
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.
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