A Gallon of Gas – Who gets what?

Yesterday we wrote an article about how much money your vehicle consumes per hour of operation. We then began to do our research and tried to figure out where our money was going to. As in, who gets the money when we pay at a fill-up station? How many cents go to each person involved in the gas production etc. Taxes (Gov), Gas Station Owners, Oil Traders, Refining, Distribution & Marketing, and lastly Crude Oil Companies. The Following information is obtained from research through the EIA and current prices of $3.56

So let’s dissect a Gallon of Gas, and find out exactly who is getting what, and how much richer do we make them every day?

Taxes (GOV) %12

: Right from the start before the gas reaches the consumers, the government takes away %12 of the gas profit. That’s about .42 cents out of every Gallon of gas. This money is used to keep roads in good condition, paying for smoother sections of the interstate, and making sure that we have a safe ground to drive on. Billions of Dollars are spent trying to keep the roads in excellent conditions, and it is still not enough.

Gas Station Owners:

As surprising as this may seem, a gas station owner makes the least amount of money from selling Gas at their Station, “MOST” gas stations are independently owned by private owners, and on average they take in 7-10 cents for every gallon they sell.Thats according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

From those cents, they have to pay the overhead for their business. At the end they make an average of 2-3 cents per gallon (if they are lucky) The gas station owner can raise and lower prices as they wish, but thanks to friendly competition they try to lower it as much as possible while still breaking even.

Oil traders:

These are the “evil” conspirators who are always blamed by the people for raising and lowering gas prices. In reality they have nothing to do with the inflation or de-flation of gas prices. They take a gamble every day.

An oil trader makes a stock investment “hoping” that they will make money. They look at the charts, and then they make an assessment and invest. They only make money if they got their “guess” right. For example let’s say that a barrel of gas is $100 right now. An investor comes in and says “I think the oil prices will go up tomorrow, I will buy 100 shares of gas” the following day if the barrel of oil went up to $105, voila! They make money. $500 dollars out of a “lucky guess” but just as simple as they make money, they can also lose money, many times investors have guessed wrong, and they invest thousands of dollars that gas prices will go up, and during the middle of the night a scientist finds a huge “Oil Reserve” that lowers gas prices by $10 per barrel etc. So in reality, the Oil Traders have nothing to do with inflation and gas prices.

Distribution and Marketing %7

: Getting the gas from refineries to the gas stations uses gas, the trucks used by these companies give out as little as 6-8 mpg, even pipelines have an overhead. On top of that, they then have to spend millions of dollars trying to convince you why their gas is better than their competitors gas etc. And then out of nowhere here comes a facebook group that try to get everyone to stop buying gas on a specific day… tisk tisk tisk it’s not about buying gas, they still make their money. At the end, the total distribution and marketing that the big companies charge is about 24 cents per gallon

Refining %13

: About .46 cents a gallon goes to refining companies like Valero, Sunoco, Frontier, ExxonMobil, Chevron.

The process of taking “crude oil” to fuel is an extensive one, and really it takes a whole bunch of man power to get it that level. Even now days, the Refining companies are having a difficult time turning this into a profit since the price that they pay for crude oil has risen faster than the price they sell the gas for. So were actually getting a break here, while crude oil is extremely volatile we are actually saving gas jumps from $3 Sunday night to $6 Monday morning. Gas companies buy the oil and they distribute the oil, but the next day, crude oil goes up in prices. But they can’t sell the oil since their “gas stations” still have remaining oil. When gas stations need gas again, the oil prices stabilize and the jump is only a .10 cent jump instead of a $1 dollar jump.

Crude oil %68:

This is the most expensive part of a gallon of gas, at a whopping $2.42 for every gallon goes to the producers of Oil, BP, Chevron, Marathon. The money also goes to other nations and countries that control and sell oil based on demand, companies located in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Mexico.

Then you have to take into consideration the Oil Spills, Oil Well fires in Iraq, etc. All of those catastrophes have an impact on oil prices, and unless you play your cards right like an Oil Trader you are more than likely going to lose money.

Currently a Barrel of Crude oil is at about $105 a barrel, now after you pay expenses and you pay overhead etc, you begin to see why we pay so much. So in reality is not just one person’s fault it’s a combination of people and companies trying to make a living. The biggest players of the oil field are the Crude Oil Companies.

Not the Government, or the Gas Station owners, or even the Oil Traders. Now you see why stealing a gallon of gas is such a big problem for gas station owners… for every gallon of gas stolen, they have to sell 300 gallons to break even… take a full tank of gas without paying, and now you are looking at 6000 gallons of gas just to cover your theft no wonder you lose your license for doing this.

Overall, Gas prices will continue to rise, and we will continue to buy, and unless crude Oil Companies lower their prices, were not going to see a change. If we really want to save money on gas, we need more oil exploration, more research into Fuel Efficient vehicles, more research on alternate fuel methods, and better technology for the retrieval of oil. All of which cost money, and if you think that the “big” oil companies don’t care about finding a better way to retrieve the fuel or alternate gas source, you are mistaken, Exxon has thrown millions of dollars into the research like Blue Fuel from Spain to find a better fuel for the future.