Fuel oil

Fuel oil is a broad term that could refer to a number of different refined products ranging in density from kerosene to residual fuel oil. However, it typically refers to residual fuel oil or No. 6 fuel oil.

Grades of fuel oil used in US markets:

  • No 1 - A fuel oil consisting of kerosene range material. Also called stove oil or range oil
  • No 2 - A fuel oil consisting of light atmospheric gasoil material. This is the fuel oil used as a home heating oil. It is very similar to diesel but of lower quality. Typically, it has a lower cetane and higher sulfur content. Also called Bunker A
  • No 3 - This is a now obsolete light gasoil range fuel oil, that has been combined with No 2
  • No 4 - A fuel oil consisting of VGO range material, intended for commercial heating furnaces lacking a preheater
  • No 5 - A fuel oil consisting of vac resid range material with a low viscosity, allowing it to be pumped without preheating. Also called Bunker B
  • No 6 - A fuel oil consisting of vac resid range material with a high viscosity, requiring preheating before pumping. Also called residual fuel oil or Bunker C

The Refinery Reference Desk includes content derived from our industry experts as well as from public data sources such as company websites. Nothing herein is intended to serve as investment advice. This material is based on information that we believe to be reliable and adequately comprehensive, but we do not represent that such information is in all respects accurate or complete. McKinsey Energy Insights does not accept any liability for any losses resulting from use of the content.



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