Fuel oil

Fuel oil (also known as heavy oil, marine fuel or furnace oil) is a fraction obtained from petroleum distillation, either as a distillate or a residue. In general terms, fuel oil is any liquid fuel that is burned in a furnace or boiler for the generation of heat or used in an engine for the generation of power, except oils having a flash point of approximately 42 °C (108 °F) and oils burned in cotton or wool-wick burners. Fuel oil is made of long hydrocarbon chains, particularly alkanes, cycloalkanes and aromatics. The term fuel oil is also used in a stricter sense to refer only to the heaviest commercial fuel that can be obtained from crude oil, i.e., heavier than gasoline and naphtha.

Small molecules like those in propane, naphtha, gasoline for cars, and jet fuel have relatively low boiling points, and they are removed at the start of the fractional distillation process. Heavier petroleum products like Diesel and lubricating oil are much less volatile and distill out more slowly, while bunker oil is literally the bottom of the barrel; in oil distilling, the only things denser than bunker fuel are carbon black feedstock and bituminous residue (asphalt), which is used for paving roads and sealing roofs.

An oil tanker taking on fuel, or "bunkering"


A fuel station in Zigui County on the Yangtze River
DOT hazmat class 3 (alt 2)
HAZMAT class 3 fuel oil

Oil has many uses; it heats homes and businesses and fuels trucks, ships and some cars. A small amount of electricity is produced by diesel, but it is more polluting and more expensive than natural gas. It is often used as a backup fuel for peaking power plants in case the supply of natural gas is interrupted or as the main fuel for small electrical generators. In Europe, the use of diesel is generally restricted to cars (about 40%), SUVs (about 90%), and trucks and buses (over 99%). The market for home heating using fuel oil, called heating oil, has decreased due to the widespread penetration of natural gas as well as heat pumps. However, it is very common in some areas, such as the Northeastern United States.

Fuel Oil Truck 1945
Fuel oil truck making a delivery in North Carolina, 1945

Residual fuel oil is less useful because it is so viscous that it has to be heated with a special heating system before use and it may contain relatively high amounts of pollutants, particularly sulfur, which forms sulfur dioxide upon combustion. However, its undesirable properties make it very cheap. In fact, it is the cheapest liquid fuel available. Since it requires heating before use, residual fuel oil cannot be used in road vehicles, boats or small ships, as the heating equipment takes up valuable space and makes the vehicle heavier. Heating the oil is also a delicate procedure, which is impractical on small, fast moving vehicles. However, power plants and large ships are able to use residual fuel oil.

Use of residual fuel oil was more common in the past. It powered boilers, railroad steam locomotives, and steamships. Locomotives, however, have become powered by diesel or electric power; steamships are not as common as they were previously due to their higher operating costs (most LNG carriers use steam plants, as "boil-off" gas emitted from the cargo can be used as a fuel source); and most boilers now use heating oil or natural gas. Some industrial boilers still use it and so do some old buildings, including in New York City. In 2011 The City estimated that the 1% of its buildings that burned fuel oils No. 4 and No. 6 were responsible for 86% of the soot pollution generated by all buildings in the city. New York made the phase out of these fuel grades part of its environmental plan, PlaNYC, because of concerns for the health effects caused by fine particulates,[1] and all buildings using fuel oil No. 6 had been converted to less polluting fuel by the end of 2015.[2]

Residual fuel's use in electrical generation has also decreased. In 1973, residual fuel oil produced 16.8% of the electricity in the US. By 1983, it had fallen to 6.2%, and as of 2005, electricity production from all forms of petroleum, including diesel and residual fuel, is only 3% of total production. The decline is the result of price competition with natural gas and environmental restrictions on emissions. For power plants, the costs of heating the oil, extra pollution control and additional maintenance required after burning it often outweigh the low cost of the fuel. Burning fuel oil, particularly residual fuel oil, produces uniformly higher carbon dioxide emissions than natural gas.[3]

Heavy fuel oils continue to be used in the boiler "lighting up" facility in many coal-fired power plants. This use is approximately analogous to using kindling to start a fire. Without performing this act it is difficult to begin the large-scale combustion process.

The chief drawback to residual fuel oil is its high initial viscosity, particularly in the case of No. 6 oil, which requires a correctly engineered system for storage, pumping, and burning. Though it is still usually lighter than water (with a specific gravity usually ranging from 0.95 to 1.03) it is much heavier and more viscous than No. 2 oil, kerosene, or gasoline. No. 6 oil must, in fact, be stored at around 38 °C (100 °F) heated to 65–120 °C (149–248 °F) before it can be easily pumped, and in cooler temperatures it can congeal into a tarry semisolid. The flash point of most blends of No. 6 oil is, incidentally, about 65 °C (149 °F). Attempting to pump high-viscosity oil at low temperatures was a frequent cause of damage to fuel lines, furnaces, and related equipment which were often designed for lighter fuels.

For comparison, BS 2869 Class G heavy fuel oil behaves in similar fashion, requiring storage at 40 °C (104 °F), pumping at around 50 °C (122 °F) and finalising for burning at around 90–120 °C (194–248 °F).

Most of the facilities which historically burned No. 6 or other residual oils were industrial plants and similar facilities constructed in the early or mid 20th century, or which had switched from coal to oil fuel during the same time period. In either case, residual oil was seen as a good prospect because it was cheap and readily available. Most of these facilities have subsequently been closed and demolished, or have replaced their fuel supplies with a simpler one such as gas or No. 2 oil. The high sulfur content of No. 6 oil—up to 3% by weight in some extreme cases—had a corrosive effect on many heating systems (which were usually designed without adequate corrosion protection in mind), shortening their lifespans and increasing the polluting effects. This was particularly the case in furnaces that were regularly shut down and allowed to go cold, since the internal condensation produced sulfuric acid.

Environmental cleanups at such facilities are frequently complicated by the use of asbestos insulation on the fuel feed lines. No. 6 oil is very persistent, and does not degrade rapidly. Its viscosity and stickiness also make remediation of underground contamination very difficult, since these properties reduce the effectiveness of methods such as air stripping.

When released into water, such as a river or ocean, residual oil tends to break up into patches or tarballs—mixtures of oil and particulate matter such as silt and floating organic matter- rather than form a single slick. An average of about 5-10% of the material will evaporate within hours of the release, primarily the lighter hydrocarbon fractions. The remainder will then often sink to the bottom of the water column.

General classification

United States

Although the following trends generally hold true, different organizations may have different numerical specifications for the six fuel grades. The boiling point and carbon chain length of the fuel increases with fuel oil number. Viscosity also increases with number, and the heaviest oil must be heated for it to flow. Price usually decreases as the fuel number increases.[4]

Number 1 fuel oil is a volatile distillate oil intended for vaporizing pot-type burners.[5] It is the kerosene refinery cut that boils off immediately after the heavy naphtha cut used for gasoline. Former names include: coal oil, stove oil and range oil.[4]

Number 2 fuel oil is a distillate home heating oil.[5] This fuel is sometimes known as Bunker A. Trucks and some cars use similar diesel fuel with a cetane number limit describing the ignition quality of the fuel. Both are typically obtained from the light gas oil cut. Gas oil refers to the original use of this fraction in the late 19th and early 20th centuries – the gas oil cut was used as an enriching agent for carburetted water gas manufacture.[4]

Number 3 fuel oil was a distillate oil for burners requiring low-viscosity fuel. ASTM merged this grade into the number 2 specification, and the term has been rarely used since the mid-20th century.[5]

Number 4 fuel oil is a commercial heating oil for burner installations not equipped with preheaters.[5] It may be obtained from the heavy gas oil cut.[4]

Number 5 fuel oil is a residual-type industrial heating oil requiring preheating to 77–104 °C (171–219 °F) for proper atomization at the burners.[5] This fuel is sometimes known as Bunker B. It may be obtained from the heavy gas oil cut,[4] or it may be a blend of residual oil with enough number 2 oil to adjust viscosity until it can be pumped without preheating.[5]

Number 6 fuel oil is a high-viscosity residual oil requiring preheating to 104–127 °C (219–261 °F). Residual means the material remaining after the more valuable cuts of crude oil have boiled off. The residue may contain various undesirable impurities, including 2% water and 0.5% mineral soil. This fuel may be known as residual fuel oil (RFO), by the Navy specification of Bunker C, or by the Pacific Specification of PS-400.[5]

United Kingdom

The British Standard BS 2869, Fuel Oils for Agricultural, Domestic and Industrial Engines, specifies the following fuel oil classes:

Fuel Oil Classes per BS 2869
Class Type Min. kinematic viscosity Max. kinematic viscosity Min. flash point Max. sulphur content Alias
C1 Distillate 43 °C 0.040 % (m/m) Paraffin
C2 Distillate 1.000 mm²/s at 40 °C 2.000 mm²/s at 40 °C 38 °C 0.100 % (m/m) Kerosene, 28-second oil
A2 Distillate 2.000 mm²/s at 40 °C 5.000 mm²/s at 40 °C > 55 °C 0.001 % (m/m) low-sulphur gas oil, ULSD
D Distillate 2.000 mm²/s at 40 °C 5.000 mm²/s at 40 °C > 55 °C 0.100 % (m/m) Gas oil, red diesel, 35-second oil
E Residual 8.200 mm²/s at 100 °C 66 °C 1.000 % (m/m) Light fuel oil, LFO, 250-second oil
F Residual 8.201 mm²/s at 100 °C 20.000 mm²/s at 100 °C 66 °C 1.000 % (m/m) Medium fuel oil, MFO, 1000-second oil
G Residual 20.010 mm²/s at 100 °C 40.000 mm²/s at 100 °C 66 °C 1.000 % (m/m) Heavy fuel oil, HFO, 3500-second oil
H Residual 40.010 mm²/s at 100 °C 56.000 mm²/s at 100 °C 66 °C 1.000 % (m/m)

Class C1 and C2 fuels are kerosene-type fuels. C1 is for use in flueless appliances (e.g. lamps). C2 is for vaporising or atomising burners in appliances connected to flues.

Class A2 fuel is suitable for mobile, off-road applications that are required to use a sulphur-free fuel. Class D fuel is similar to Class A2 and is suitable for use in stationary applications, such as domestic, commercial, and industrial heating. The BS 2869 standard permits Class A2 and Class D fuel to contain up to 7% (V/V) biodiesel (fatty acid methyl ester, FAME), provided the FAME content meets the requirements of the BS EN 14214 standard.

Classes E to H are residual oils for atomizing burners serving boilers or, with the exception of Class H, certain types of larger combustion engines. Classes F to H invariably require heating prior to use; Class E fuel may require preheating, depending on ambient conditions.


Mazut is a residual fuel oil often derived from Russian petroleum sources and is either blended with lighter petroleum fractions or burned directly in specialized boilers and furnaces. It is also used as a petrochemical feedstock. In the Russian practice, though, "mazut" is an umbrella term roughly synonymous with the fuel oil in general, that covers most of the types mentioned above, except US grades 1 and 2/3, for which separate terms exist (kerosene and diesel fuel/solar oil respectively — Russian practice doesn't differentiate between diesel fuel and heating oil). This is further separated in two grades, "naval mazut" being analogous to US grades 4 and 5, and "furnace mazut", a heaviest residual fraction of the crude, almost exactly corresponding to US Number 6 fuel oil and further graded by viscosity and sulphur content.

Maritime fuel classification

In the maritime field another type of classification is used for fuel oils:

  • MGO (Marine gas oil) - roughly equivalent to No. 2 fuel oil, made from distillate only
  • MDO (Marine diesel oil) - A blend of heavy gasoil that may contain very small amounts of black refinery feed stocks, but has a low viscosity up to 12 cSt so it need not be heated for use in internal combustion engines
  • IFO (Intermediate fuel oil) A blend of gasoil and heavy fuel oil, with less gasoil than marine diesel oil
  • MFO (Marine fuel oil) - same as HFO (just another "naming")
  • HFO (Heavy fuel oil) - Pure or nearly pure residual oil, roughly equivalent to No. 6 fuel oil

Marine diesel oil contains some heavy fuel oil, unlike regular diesels.

Standards and classification

CCAI and CII are two indexes which describe the ignition quality of residual fuel oil, and CCAI is especially often calculated for marine fuels. Despite this, marine fuels are still quoted on the international bunker markets with their maximum viscosity (which is set by the ISO 8217 standard - see below) due to the fact that marine engines are designed to use different viscosities of fuel.[6] The unit of viscosity used is the centistoke (cSt) and the fuels most frequently quoted are listed below in order of cost, the least expensive first.

  • IFO 380 - Intermediate fuel oil with a maximum viscosity of 380 centistokes (<3.5% sulphur)
  • IFO 180 - Intermediate fuel oil with a maximum viscosity of 180 centistokes (<3.5% sulphur)
  • LS 380 - Low-sulphur (<1.0%) intermediate fuel oil with a maximum viscosity of 380 centistokes
  • LS 180 - Low-sulphur (<1.0%) intermediate fuel oil with a maximum viscosity of 180 centistokes
  • MDO - Marine diesel oil.
  • MGO - Marine gasoil.
  • LSMGO - Low-sulphur (<0.1%) Marine Gas Oil - The fuel is to be used in EU Ports and Anchorages. EU Sulphur directive 2005/33/EC
  • ULSMGO - Ultra-Low-Sulphur Marine Gas Oil - referred to as Ultra-Low-Sulfur Diesel (sulphur 0.0015% max) in the US and Auto Gas Oil (sulphur 0.001% max) in the EU. Maximum sulphur allowable in US territories and territorial waters (inland, marine and automotive) and in the EU for inland use.

The density is also an important parameter for fuel oils since marine fuels are purified before use to remove water and dirt from the oil. Since the purifiers use centrifugal force, the oil must have a density which is sufficiently different from water. Older purifiers work with a fuel having a maximum of 991 kg/m3; with modern purifiers it is also possible to purify oil with a density of 1010 kg/m3.

The first British standard for fuel oil came in 1982. The latest standard is ISO 8217 issued in 2017. [7] The ISO standard describe four qualities of distillate fuels and 10 qualities of residual fuels. Over the years the standards have become stricter on environmentally important parameters such as sulfur content. The latest standard also banned the adding of used lubricating oil (ULO).

Some parameters of marine fuel oils according to ISO 8217 (3. ed 2005):

Marine distillate fuels
Parameter Unit Limit DMX DMA DMB DMC
Density at 15 °C kg/m3 Max - 890.0 900.0 920.0
Viscosity at 40 °C mm²/s Max 5.5 6.0 11.0 14.0
mm²/s Min 1.4 1.5 - -
Water % V/V Max - - 0.3 0.3
Sulfur1 % (m/m) Max 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.0
Aluminium + Silicon2 mg/kg Max - - - 25
Flash point3 °C Min 43 60 60 60
Pour point, Summer °C Max - 0 6 6
Pour point, Winter °C Max - -6 0 0
Cloud point °C Max -16 - - -
Calculated Cetane Index Min 45 40 35 -
Marine residual fuels
Parameter Unit Limit RMA 30 RMB 30 RMD 80 RME 180 RMF 180 RMG 380 RMH 380 RMK 380 RMH 700 RMK 700
Density at 15 °C kg/m3 Max 960.0 975.0 980.0 991.0 991.0 991.0 991.0 1010.0 991.0 1010.0
Viscosity at 50 °C mm²/s Max 30.0 30.0 80.0 180.0 180.0 380.0 380.0 380.0 700.0 700.0
Water % V/V Max 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
Sulfur1 % (m/m) Max 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5
Aluminium + Silicon2 mg/kg Max 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80
Flash point3 °C Min 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60
Pour point, Summer °C Max 6 24 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30
Pour point, Winter °C Max 0 24 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30
  1. Maximum sulfur content in the open ocean is 3.5% since January 2012. Maximum sulfur content in designated areas is 0.1% since 1 January 2015. Before then it was 1.00%.
  2. The content of Aluminium and silicon is limited because those metals are dangerous for the engine. Those elements are present because some components of the fuel are manufactured with Fluid Catalytic Cracking process, which makes use of catalyst containing Aluminium and silicon.
  3. The flash point of all fuels used in the engine room should be at least 60 °C. (DMX is used for things like emergency generators and not normally used in the engine room. Gaseous fuels such as LPG/LNG have special class rules applied to the fuel systems.)

Bunker fuel

Residual fuel oil
A sample of residual fuel oil

Bunker fuel or bunker crude is technically any type of fuel oil used aboard vessels. It gets its name from the tanks on ships and in ports that it is stored in; in the early days of steam they were coal bunkers but now they are bunker fuel tanks. The Australian Customs and the Australian Tax Office define a bunker fuel as the fuel that powers the engine of a ship or aircraft. Bunker A is No. 2 fuel oil, bunker B is No. 4 or No. 5 and bunker C is No. 6. Since No. 6 is the most common, "bunker fuel" is often used as a synonym for No. 6. No. 5 fuel oil is also called Navy Special Fuel Oil (NSFO) or just navy special; No. 5 or 6 are also commonly called heavy fuel oil (HFO) or furnace fuel oil (FFO); the high viscosity requires heating, usually by a recirculated low pressure steam system, before the oil can be pumped from a bunker tank. Bunkers are rarely labeled this way in modern maritime practice.

Since the 1980s the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has been the accepted standard for marine fuels (bunkers). The standard is listed under number 8217, with recent updates in 2010 and 2017. The Latest Edition of Bunker fuel specification is ISO 8217: 2017. The standard divides fuels into residual and distillate fuels. The most common residual fuels in the shipping industry are RMG and RMK.[8] The differences between the two are mainly the density and viscosity, with RMG generally being delivered at 380 centistokes or less, and RMK at 700 centistokes or less. Ships with more advanced engines can process heavier, more viscous, and thus cheaper, fuel. Governing bodies around the world, e.g., California, European Union, have established Emission Control Areas (ECA) that limit the maximum sulfur of fuels burned in their ports to limit pollution, reducing the percentage of sulfur and other particulates from 4.5% m/m to as little as 0.10% as of 2015 inside an ECA. As of 2013 3.5% continued to be permitted outside an ECA, but the International Maritime Organization has planned to lower the sulfur content requirement outside the ECAs to 0.5% m/m by 2020.[9] This is where Marine Distillate Fuels and other alternatives[10] to use of heavy bunker fuel come into play. They have similar properties to Diesel #2, which is used as road Diesel around the world. The most common grades used in shipping are DMA and DMB.[11] Greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the use of international bunker fuels are currently included in national inventories.[12][13]

Table of fuel oils
Name Alias Alias Type Chain length
No. 1 fuel oil No. 1 distillate No. 1 Diesel fuel Distillate 9-16
No. 2 fuel oil No. 2 distillate No. 2 Diesel fuel Distillate 10-20
No. 3 fuel oil No. 3 distillate No. 3 Diesel fuel Distillate
No. 4 fuel oil No. 4 distillate No. 4 residual fuel oil Distillate/Residual 12-70
No. 5 fuel oil No. 5 residual fuel oil Heavy fuel oil Residual 12-70
No. 6 fuel oil No. 6 residual fuel oil Heavy fuel oil Residual 20-70

HFO is still the primary fuel for cruise vessels, a tourism sector that is associated with a clean and friendly image. In stark contrast, the exhaust gas emissions - due HFO's high sulphur content - result in an ecobalance significantly worse than that for individual mobility.[14][15][16]


The term "bunkering" broadly relates to storage of petroleum products in tanks (among other, disparate meanings.) The precise meaning can be further specialized depending on context. Perhaps the most common, more specialized usage refers to the practice and business of refueling ships. Bunkering operations are located at seaports, and they include the storage of bunker (ship) fuels and the provision of the fuel to vessels.[17]

Alternatively "bunkering" may apply to the shipboard logistics of loading fuel and distributing it among available bunkers (on-board fuel tanks).[18]

Finally, in the context of the oil industry in Nigeria, bunkering[19] has come to refer to the illegal diversion of crude oil (often subsequently refined in makeshift facilities into lighter transportation fuels) by the unauthorized cutting of holes into transport pipelines, often by very crude and hazardous means.

As of 2018, some 300 million metric tons of fuel oil is used for ship bunkering. By 2020, regulations in wealthy nations require use of low sulfur fuels to combat pollution, therefore it is expected that the excess cheap yet dirty fuel would find its way into other markets, including displacing some onshore energy production in poorer nations.[20]


Fuel oil is transported worldwide by fleets of oil tankers making deliveries to suitably sized strategic ports such as Houston, Singapore, Fujairah, Balboa, Cristobal, Sokhna (Egypt), Algeciras and Rotterdam. Where a convenient seaport does not exist, inland transport may be achieved with the use of barges. Lighter fuel oils can also be transported through pipelines. The major physical supply chains of Europe are along the Rhine River.

Environmental issues

Emissions from bunker fuel burning in ships contribute to air pollution levels in many port cities, especially where the emissions from industry and road traffic have been controlled. The switch of auxiliary engines from heavy fuel oil to diesel oil at berth can result in large emission reductions, especially for SO2 and PM. CO2 emissions from bunker fuels sold are not added to national GHG emissions. For small countries with large international ports, there is an important difference between the emissions in territorial waters and the total emissions of the fuel sold.[13]

See also


  1. ^ "Mayor Bloomberg Presents an Update to PlaNYC: a Greener, Greater New York". NYC.gov. 2010-03-22. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
  2. ^ Office of the Mayor (2016-02-09). "Mayor de Blasio and DEP Announce That All 5,300 Buildings Have Discontinued Use of Most Polluting Heating Oil, Leading to Significantly Cleaner Air". City of New York. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  3. ^ "U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)". Archived from the original on 1 November 2004. Retrieved 21 August 2009.
  4. ^ a b c d e Kent, James A. Riegel's Handbook of Industrial Chemistry (1983) Van Nostrand Reinhold Company ISBN 0-442-20164-8 pp.492-493
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Perry, Robert H., Chilton, Cecil H. and Kirkpatrick, Sidney D. Perry's Chemical Engineers' Handbook 4th edition (1963) McGraw Hill p.9-6
  6. ^ "Bunkerworld Account - Login". www.bunkerworld.com.
  7. ^ https://www.iso.org/standard/64247.html ISO8217:2017
  8. ^ "RMG and RMK" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 January 2012.
  9. ^ "Sulphur oxides (SOx) – Regulation 14". International Maritime Organization. Archived from the original on 23 December 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2013. SOx and particulate matter emission controls apply to all fuel oil
  10. ^ Robert Wall (10 July 2013). "Rolls-Royce Revives Age of Sail to Beat Fuel-Cost Surge: Freight". Bloomberg. Retrieved 11 July 2013. a development which will prompt a switch to “a much more diverse fuel pallet
  11. ^ "DMA and DMB" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 January 2012.
  12. ^ Schrooten, L; De Vlieger, Ina; Int Panis, Luc; Chiffi, Cosimo; Pastori, Enrico (2009). "Emissions of maritime transport: a reference system". Science of the Total Environment. 408 (2): 318–323. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.07.037. PMID 19840885.
  13. ^ a b Schrooten, L; De Vlieger, Ina; Int Panis, Luc; Styns, R. Torfs, K; Torfs, R (2008). "Inventory and forecasting of maritime emissions in the Belgian sea territory, an activity based emission model". Atmospheric Environment. 42 (4): 667–676. Bibcode:2008AtmEn..42..667S. doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2007.09.071.
  14. ^ Vidal, John (2016-05-21). "The world's largest cruise ship and its supersized pollution problem". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-08-21. “Cruise companies create a picture of being a bright, clean and environmentally friendly tourism sector. But the opposite is true. One cruise ship emits as many air pollutants as five million cars going the same distance because these ships use heavy fuel that on land would have to be disposed of as hazardous waste.”...“Heavy fuel oil can contain 3,500 times more sulphur than diesel that is used for land traffic vehicles. Ships do not have exhaust abatement technologies like particulate filters that are standard on passenger cars and lorries,”
  15. ^ "bunker fuel". Cruise Law News. 2017-03-31. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  16. ^ "Clean up the Shipping Industry". Stand.earth. 2016-12-14. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  17. ^ "Bunkering". Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). Archived from the original on 7 January 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  18. ^ MOHIT (19 October 2010). "Bunkering is Dangerous : Procedure for Bunkering Operation on a Ship". Marine Insight. Retrieved 16 January 2015Site seems to require enabling of cookies.
  19. ^ Jon Gambrell and Associated Press (20 July 2013). "Oil bunkering threatens Nigeria's economy, environment". Washington Post. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  20. ^ "Power sector's thirst for fuel oil after IMO low sulfur cap shifts bunker demand - Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide". www.hellenicshippingnews.com.
  21. ^ National Geographic magazine, April 2012

External links


ANFO (or AN/FO, for ammonium nitrate/fuel oil) is a widely used bulk industrial explosive. Its name is commonly pronounced as "an-fo".

It consists of 94% porous prilled ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) (AN), which acts as the oxidizing agent and absorbent for the fuel, and 6% number 2 fuel oil (FO).ANFO has found wide use in coal mining, quarrying, metal mining, and civil construction in applications where its low cost and ease of use may outweigh the benefits of other explosives, such as water resistance, oxygen balance, higher detonation velocity, or performance in small-diameter columns. ANFO is also widely used in avalanche hazard mitigation.It accounts for an estimated 80% of the 2.7×109 kg (6×10^9 lb) of explosives used annually in North America.The press and other media have used the term ANFO loosely and imprecisely in describing improvised explosive devices (IEDs), in cases of fertilizer bombs (see Malicious use below).The use of ANFO originated in the 1950s.

Ammonium nitrate

Ammonium nitrate is a chemical compound, the nitrate salt of the ammonium cation. It has the chemical formula NH4NO3, simplified to N2H4O3. It is a white crystal solid and is highly soluble in water. It is predominantly used in agriculture as a high-nitrogen fertilizer. Its other major use is as a component of explosive mixtures used in mining, quarrying, and civil construction. It is the major constituent of ANFO, a popular industrial explosive which accounts for 80% of explosives used in North America; similar formulations have been used in improvised explosive devices. Many countries are phasing out its use in consumer applications due to concerns over its potential for misuse.

Critical infrastructure

Critical infrastructure (or critical national infrastructure (CNI) in the UK) is a term used by governments to describe assets that are essential for the functioning of a society and economy – the infrastructure. Most commonly associated with the term are facilities for:

Shelter; Heating (e.g. natural gas, fuel oil, district heating);

Agriculture, food production and distribution;

Water supply (drinking water, waste water/sewage, stemming of surface water (e.g. dikes and sluices));

Public health (hospitals, ambulances);

Transportation systems (fuel supply, railway network, airports, harbours, inland shipping);

Security services (police, military).

Electricity generation, transmission and distribution; (e.g. natural gas, fuel oil, coal, nuclear power)

Renewable energy, which are naturally replenished on a human timescale, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat.

Telecommunication; coordination for successful operations

Economic sector; Goods and services and financial services (banking, clearing);

Embilipitiya Power Station

The Embilipitiya Power Station (also sometimes referred to as Ace Power Embilipitiya) is a 100 MW thermal power station in Embilipitiya, Sri Lanka. The heavy fuel oil-run power station was commissioned in March 2005, and was operated by Aitken Spence (sometimes shortened to Ace). The power station consisted of fourteen Caterpillar 16CM32C generation units of 7.11 MW each, which consumed approximately 550 tonnes of fuel oil per day. The Ministry of Power and Energy discontinued purchasing power from the private power station after its license expired in 2015, and hence was subsequently decommissioned. In March 2016 Ceylon Electricity Board decided to recommission the plant due to high electricity demand in the country. The facility cost approximately Rs. 8 billion to develop, and is built on a 44-acre (18 ha) land on a 33-year lease.

Fuel-management systems

Fuel-management systems are used to maintain, control and monitor fuel consumption and stock in any type of industry that uses transport, including rail, road, water and air, as a means of business.

Fuel-management systems are designed to effectively measure and manage the use of fuel within the transportation and construction industries. They are typically used for fleets of vehicles, including railway vehicles and aircraft, as well as any vehicle that requires fuel to operate. They employ various methods and technologies to monitor and track fuel inventories, fuel purchases and fuel dispensed. This information can be then stored in computerized systems and reports generated with data to inform management practices. Online fuel management is provided through the use of web portals to provide detailed fueling data, usually vis a vis the back end of an automated fuel-management system. This enables consumption control, cost analysis and tax accounting for fuel purchases.

There are several types of fuel-management systems. Card-based fuel-management systems typically track fuel transactions based on a fueling credit card and the associated driver PIN. Reports can then be generated based on fuel consumption by driver, and data can be directly downloaded. On-site fuel-management systems may employ fleet refueling services or bulk fuel tanks at the site. Fuel is tracked as it is pumped into vehicles, and on-site storage levels can be managed.

Some fuel companies offer total fuel-management systems whereby they provide elements of a card-based system along with on-site fuel delivery and refueling services. Mobile fuel management refers to a fleet of fuel trucks or tankers which provide fuel supply to commercial fleets of trucks or construction equipment. May involve combining RFID technology to identify equipment and automated fuel management to append the details of each transaction to a unique piece of equipment. By refueling vehicles in the evening when they are not in use, the company can conserve man-hours as the operators do not refuel and the vehicles do not require additional fuel to travel to the refueling station. They may also employ more sophisticated systems that utilize remote data collection to gather specific technical information about the vehicle usage and performance characteristics such as mileage, hours of operation and engine idling time.

The increasing use of biofuel has introduced another challenge in fuel management. With greater water content, there will be a risk of microbial growth – depending on the storage conditions, the fuel quality will deteriorate over time, leading to clogged filters and loss of productivity.

Tank manufacturers have introduced fuel filtering and cleansing packs which recirculate the tank contents through a series of filters and ultraviolet treatment to kill bacteria. Data from fuel quality instrumentation can be streamed to allow remote monitoring over Internet connections.

Heating oil

Heating oil is a low viscosity, liquid petroleum product used as a fuel oil for furnaces or boilers in buildings. Home heating oil is often abbreviated as HHO.Heating oil consists of a mixture of petroleum-derived hydrocarbons in the 14- to 20-carbon atom range that condense between 250 and 350 °C (482 and 662 °F) during oil refining. Heating oil condenses at a lower temperature than petroleum jelly, bitumen, candle wax, and lubricating oil, but at a higher temperature than kerosene, which condenses between 160–250 °C (320–482 °F). The heavy (C20+) hydrocarbons condense between 340–400 °C (644–752 °F).

Heating oil produces 138,500 British thermal units per US gallon (38.6 MJ/l) and weighs 8.2 pounds per US gallon (0.95 kg/l). Number 2 fuel oil has a flash point of 52 °C (126 °F).

Most heating oil products are chemically very similar to diesel fuel used as motor fuel. In many markets heating oil and on-road diesel fuels are the same product sold out of the same truck in route labeled as either heating oil or dyed diesel respectively dependent on the person ordering product. The legal difference between diesel and heating oil in the United States is sulfur allowance. Diesel for machinery and equipment must be below 15ppm sulfur content while heating oil must be below 500 ppm sulfur. This means that the two can often be successfully interchanged for heating or boiler systems. However, the taxation of the two differs in many places, with heating oil being taxed less than motor fuel. This creates an incentive to buy heating oil at a lower price and then use it as motor fuel, avoiding the fuel tax. To make enforcement possible, some visual difference or odor difference must be introduced to the oil. Therefore, red dyes are usually added, resulting in the "red diesel" name in countries like the United Kingdom. In the U.S. the fuel oil dyed red is not taxed for highway use; the dye makes it easy to identify its use in on-road vehicles (whereas diesel fuel sold for motor fuel use is usually green). Since 2002, Solvent Yellow 124 has been added as a "Euromarker" in the European Union.

Heating oil is commonly delivered by tank truck to residential, commercial and municipal buildings and stored in above-ground storage tanks ("ASTs") located in the basements, garages, or outside adjacent to the building. It is sometimes stored in underground storage tanks (or "USTs") but less often than ASTs. ASTs are used for smaller installations due to the lower cost factor. Heating oil is less commonly used as an industrial fuel or for power generation.

Leaks from tanks and piping are an environmental concern. Various federal and state regulations are in place regarding the proper transportation, storage and burning of heating oil, which is classified as a hazardous material (HazMat) by federal regulators.

International Petroleum Exchange

The International Petroleum Exchange, now ICE Futures (since 2005-04-7), based in London, was one of the world's largest energy futures and options exchanges. Its flagship commodity, Brent Crude was a world benchmark for oil prices, but the exchange also handled futures contracts and options on fuel oil, natural gas, electricity (baseload and peakload), coal contracts and, as of 22 April 2005, carbon emission allowances with the European Climate Exchange (ECX).

The IPE was acquired by the Intercontinental Exchange in 2001. The IPE was an open outcry exchange until 7 April 2005, when its name was changed to ICE Futures and all trading was shifted onto an electronic trading platform.

Liquefied petroleum gas

Liquefied petroleum gas or liquid petroleum gas (LPG or LP gas), also referred to as simply propane or butane, are flammable mixtures of hydrocarbon gases used as fuel in heating appliances, cooking equipment, and vehicles.

It is increasingly used as an aerosol propellant and a refrigerant, replacing chlorofluorocarbons in an effort to reduce damage to the ozone layer. When specifically used as a vehicle fuel it is often referred to as autogas.

Varieties of LPG bought and sold include mixes that are mostly propane (C3H8), mostly butane (C4H10) and, most commonly, mixes including both propane and butane. In the northern hemisphere winter, the mixes contain more propane, while in summer, they contain more butane. In the United States, mainly two grades of LPG are sold: commercial propane and HD-5. These specifications are published by the Gas Processors Association (GPA) and the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM). Propane/butane blends are also listed in these specifications.

Propylene, butylenes and various other hydrocarbons are usually also present in small concentrations. HD-5 limits the amount of propylene that can be placed in LPG to 5%, and is utilized as an autogas specification. A powerful odorant, ethanethiol, is added so that leaks can be detected easily. The internationally recognized European Standard is EN 589. In the United States, tetrahydrothiophene (thiophane) or amyl mercaptan are also approved odorants, although neither is currently being utilized.

LPG is prepared by refining petroleum or "wet" natural gas, and is almost entirely derived from fossil fuel sources, being manufactured during the refining of petroleum (crude oil), or extracted from petroleum or natural gas streams as they emerge from the ground. It was first produced in 1910 by Dr. Walter Snelling, and the first commercial products appeared in 1912. It currently provides about 3% of all energy consumed, and burns relatively cleanly with no soot and very few sulfur emissions. As it is a gas, it does not pose ground or water pollution hazards, but it can cause air pollution. LPG has a typical specific calorific value of 46.1 MJ/kg compared with 42.5 MJ/kg for fuel oil and 43.5 MJ/kg for premium grade petrol (gasoline). However, its energy density per volume unit of 26 MJ/L is lower than either that of petrol or fuel oil, as its relative density is lower (about 0.5–0.58 kg/L, compared to 0.71–0.77 kg/L for gasoline).

As its boiling point is below room temperature, LPG will evaporate quickly at normal temperatures and pressures and is usually supplied in pressurised steel vessels. They are typically filled to 80–85% of their capacity to allow for thermal expansion of the contained liquid. The ratio between the volumes of the vaporized gas and the liquefied gas varies depending on composition, pressure, and temperature, but is typically around 250:1. The pressure at which LPG becomes liquid, called its vapour pressure, likewise varies depending on composition and temperature; for example, it is approximately 220 kilopascals (32 psi) for pure butane at 20 °C (68 °F), and approximately 2,200 kilopascals (320 psi) for pure propane at 55 °C (131 °F). LPG is heavier than air, unlike natural gas, and thus will flow along floors and tend to settle in low spots, such as basements. There are two main dangers from this. The first is a possible explosion if the mixture of LPG and air is within the explosive limits and there is an ignition source. The second is suffocation due to LPG displacing air, causing a decrease in oxygen concentration.

List of largest power stations

This article lists the largest power stations in the world, the ten overall and the five of each type, in terms of current installed electrical capacity. Non-renewable power stations are those that run on coal, fuel oils, nuclear, natural gas, oil shale and peat, while renewable power stations run on fuel sources such as biomass, geothermal heat, hydro, solar energy, solar heat, tides, waves and the wind. Only the most significant fuel source is listed for power stations that run on multiple sources.

At present, the largest power generating facility ever built is the Three Gorges Dam in China. The facility generates power by utilizing 32 Francis turbines each having a capacity of 700 MW and two 50 MW turbines, totalling the installed capacity to 22,500 MW, more than twice the installed capacity of the largest nuclear power station, the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa (Japan) at 7,965 MW. As of 2017 no power station comparable to Three Gorges is under construction, as the largest under construction power stations are hydroelectric Baihetan Dam (16,000 MW) and Belo Monte Dam (11,233 MW).Although currently only a proposal, the Grand Inga Dam in the Congo would surpass all existing power stations, including the Three Gorges Dam, if construction commences as planned. The design targets to top 39,000 MW in installed capacity, nearly twice that of the Three Gorges. Another proposal, Penzhin Tidal Power Plant Project, presumes an installed capacity up to 87,100 MW.

List of power stations in Hungary

The following page is a full list of power stations in Hungary that are at least 50 MW in capacity. The list is based on information from the Hungarian grid operator MAVIR. Plants that were permanently shut down are excluded.

List of power stations in Lebanon

This page lists all power stations in Lebanon.

List of power stations in the Republic of Ireland

The following page lists all of the power stations operating in Ireland during 2010.

MV Jessica

MV Jessica was an oil tanker that was involved in an oil spill in the Galápagos Islands, a chain of islands 972 km (525 nmi) west of continental Ecuador, of which they are a part. The ship was registered in Ecuador and owned by Acotramar. On the evening of 16 January 2001, Jessica ran aground at Wreck Bay, at the entrance to the port of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the Galápagos Province, located on the southwestern coast of San Cristóbal Island. The ship was carrying 600 tons (160,000 gallons) of diesel oil and 300 tons (80,000 gallons) of intermediate fuel oil. The diesel was destined for the fuel dispatch station on Baltra Island, while the fuel oil was destined for the tourist vessel Galapagos Explorer.

On 20 January, the fuel oil began to spill from Jessica. Recovery attempts began immediately, with the Ecuadorian Navy, the GNP, and local fishermen and volunteers containing and recovering the oil from the ocean surface. Oiled animals were attended to. On San Cristóbal, seven Galápagos sea lions and 17 birds (brown pelicans and blue-footed boobies) were affected by the fuel oil spill. On Santa Fe Island, a number of sea lions were affected and the marine iguana population was greatly reduced.

Due to lack of equipment and conditions at sea, the containment measures failed, and slicks drifted with the wind. A small beach on the southern side of Santa Cruz Island, as well as Tortuga Bay, were affected. The United States Coast Guard assisted in recovering the fuel oil remaining aboard the ship. A total of 175,000 US gallons (660,000 L) of diesel and fuel oil spilled into the sea; this was one of the worst environmental disasters in the archipelago's history.

Novorossiysk Fuel Oil Terminal

Novorossiysk Fuel Oil Terminal is an oil terminal located in Novorossiysk, Russia. It is jointly owned by Gunvor and Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port. The terminal in Novorossiysk was commissioned in 2012. The terminal has a capacity of 119,000 cubic metres (4,200,000 cu ft) and a throughput of 5 million tons a year. The terminal in Tuapse consists of three oil handling sites with the total storage capacity of 198,600 cubic metres (7,010,000 cu ft), including 37,000 cubic metres (1,300,000 cu ft) of the own tanks. In the port of Nakhodka, Primorsky Region, it leases tanks of 67,000 cubic metres (2,400,000 cu ft). The company's bunkering facilities in Primorsk Port of Leningrad Oblast have a total capacity of 219,000 cubic metres (7,700,000 cu ft).


Petroleum () is a naturally occurring, yellowish-black liquid found in geological formations beneath the Earth's surface. It is commonly refined into various types of fuels. Components of petroleum are separated using a technique called fractional distillation, i.e. separation of a liquid mixture into fractions differing in boiling point by means of distillation, typically using a fractionating column.

It consists of naturally occurring hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and may contain miscellaneous organic compounds. The name petroleum covers both naturally occurring unprocessed crude oil and petroleum products that are made up of refined crude oil. A fossil fuel, petroleum is formed when large quantities of dead organisms, mostly zooplankton and algae, are buried underneath sedimentary rock and subjected to both intense heat and pressure.

Petroleum has mostly been recovered by oil drilling (natural petroleum springs are rare). Drilling is carried out after studies of structural geology (at the reservoir scale), sedimentary basin analysis, and reservoir characterisation (mainly in terms of the porosity and permeability of geologic reservoir structures) have been completed. It is refined and separated, most easily by distillation, into a large number of consumer products, from gasoline (petrol) and kerosene to asphalt and chemical reagents used to make plastics, pesticides and pharmaceuticals. Petroleum is used in manufacturing a wide variety of materials, and it is estimated that the world consumes about 95 million barrels each day.

The use of petroleum as fuel is controversial due to its impact on global warming and ocean acidification. Fossil fuels, including petroleum, need to be phased out by the end of 21st century to avoid "severe, pervasive, and irreversable impacts for people and ecosystems", according to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Petroleum product

Petroleum products are materials derived from crude oil (petroleum) as it is processed in oil refineries. Unlike petrochemicals, which are a collection of well-defined usually pure chemical compounds, petroleum products are complex mixtures. The majority of petroleum is converted to petroleum products, which includes several classes of fuels.According to the composition of the crude oil and depending on the demands of the market, refineries can produce different shares of petroleum products. The largest share of oil products is used as "energy carriers", i.e. various grades of fuel oil and gasoline. These fuels include or can be blended to give gasoline, jet fuel, diesel fuel, heating oil, and heavier fuel oils. Heavier (less volatile) fractions can also be used to produce asphalt, tar, paraffin wax, lubricating and other heavy oils. Refineries also produce other chemicals, some of which are used in chemical processes to produce plastics and other useful materials. Since petroleum often contains a few percent sulfur-containing molecules, elemental sulfur is also often produced as a petroleum product. Carbon, in the form of petroleum coke, and hydrogen may also be produced as petroleum products. The hydrogen produced is often used as an intermediate product for other oil refinery processes such as hydrocracking and hydrodesulfurization.

Shanghai Futures Exchange

The Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE; Chinese: 上海期货交易所) was formed from the amalgamation of the Shanghai Metal Exchange, Shanghai Foodstuffs Commodity Exchange, and the Shanghai Commodity Exchange in December 1999. It is a non-profit-seeking incorporated body regulated by the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

The trading floor is located in Lujiazui, in the Pudong district of Shanghai. It currently trades futures contracts in copper, aluminium, zinc, natural rubber, fuel oil, and gold.

Torksey railway station

Torksey railway station was a station in Torksey, Lincolnshire on the line between Lincoln and Retford. It closed to passengers in 1959, but part of the line remained in use for freight traffic (serving a nearby fuel oil depot) until the early 1980s. Torksey Viaduct remains as a Grade II Listed Structure.

Vidal, California

Vidal, California is a small unincorporated community located in southeastern California, in San Bernardino County on U.S. Route 95, 38 miles (61 km) north of Blythe, California, United States and 55 miles (89 km) south of Needles. The town is 22 miles (35 km) west of the townsite of Earp, California and 23 miles (37 km) west of Parker, Arizona on State Highway 62. The community, which is two miles (3 km) north of the Riverside County line, lies at an elevation of 812 feet (247 m) above sea level. Vidal is 221 miles (356 km) from the city (and county seat) of San Bernardino, making it the second-farthest town in the county from the county seat behind Earp. Wyatt Earp spent the last winters of his life in Vidal, working claims of gold and copper he found nearby; the aforementioned townsite of Earp is located in and around those claims.

During the late 1960s, Vidal was home to Solar Lodge, a secret society located four miles (6 km) south of the town center. The Lodge owned all of the businesses in the town during their time there, but left the area after several members were arrested for child abuse, in a case that became famous as "The Boy in the Box".

In February 5, 1979, a Santa Fe Railway train derailed 17 cars in the middle out of 74 cars two miles (3.2 km) west of Vidal. According to the railroad, five tankers ruptured. The spillage of residual fuel oil was disposed of through burning, and the railroad intended to send pumps to the site.The ZIP code for both Vidal and nearby Vidal Junction is 92280 and the area codes 442 and 760.

ISO standards by standard number

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