Heating Oil Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Why are oil prices higher than they were a few years ago?

Heating oil like any energy product responds to supply and demand fundamentals, such as cold or warm weather. Additionally, heating oil prices in this country may be affected by a supply disruption. On a daily basis, heating oil prices can vary widely.

Where does heating oil come from?

There are over 36 oil-producing countries. The U.S. is not overly dependent on any one region for our supply. The world's total proven reserves of crude oil are about 10% higher than they were in 1980. We are finding oil faster than we are burning it. This makes oil a dependable heating fuel of choice.

How is heating oil made?

Heating oil is refined from crude oil. The refining process first separates crude oil into different "fractions" by using a distillation process. The middle distillates are then further refined to produce gasoline, kerosene, jet fuel, diesel and No. 2 home heating oil.

Why is heating oil red?

After refining, No. 2 heating oil is the color of champagne. For tax purposes, regulations require that heating fuel be dyed red before it is sold. This is so the authorities can tell the difference between heating oil and on-road diesel fuel. The dye has no effect on the fuel and how it burns.