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Refineries and Infrastructure

Crude Oil Refineries

Petroleum refineries convert crude oil into many petroleum products that people use every day. Most refineries focus on producing transportation fuels, but they also produce many more products. Plastics, asphalt, and road oil are just some of the petrochemicals that are produced at Indiana refineries. Each barrel of crude oil can be refined into approximately 45 gallons of various products including transportation fuel and other derivatives. Each barrel can produce about 19 gallons of gasoline, 12 gallons of diesel fuel, 4 gallons of jet fuel, and 6 gallons of other types of liquids, oils and lubricants. Indiana has 2 crude oil refineries producing today; BP Whiting Refinery and CountryMark Refinery. Both refineries provide a significant contribution to the State’s gross domestic product (GDP). BP Whiting, the 6th largest refinery in the U.S., processes 430,000 barrels of crude oil per day and employs 1,800 people, selling finished product all around the world. CountryMark processes 30,000 barrels per day and occupies a unique position in the industry as they only process only domestic crude. Additionally, CountryMark owns 238 miles of underground pipeline allowing them efficiently transport finished product from refinery to their terminals in Indiana. Learn more about BP operations in Whiting or CountryMark.


Ethanol is a renewable fuel that can be made from various plant materials, collectively known as "biomass." Ethanol is an alcohol used as a blending agent with gasoline to increase octane and cut down carbon monoxide and other smog-causing emissions. The most common blend of ethanol is E10 (10% ethanol, 90% gasoline). Some vehicles, called flexible fuel vehicles, are designed to run on E85 (a gasoline-ethanol blend containing 51%–83% ethanol, depending on geography and season), an alternative fuel with much higher ethanol content than regular gasoline. Roughly 97% of gasoline in the United States contains some ethanol. Most ethanol is made from plant starches and sugars, but scientists are continuing to develop technologies that would allow for the use of cellulose and hemicellulose, the non-edible fibrous material that constitutes the bulk of plant matter. In fact, several commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol bio-refineries are currently operational in the United States. The common method for converting biomass into ethanol is called fermentation. During fermentation, microorganisms (e.g., bacteria and yeast) metabolize plant sugars and produce ethanol. Learn more here about Ethanol.


Biodiesel is a liquid fuel produced from renewable sources, such as new and used vegetable oils and animal fats and is a cleaner-burning replacement for petroleum-based diesel fuel. Biodiesel is produced by combining alcohol with vegetable oil, animal fat, or recycled cooking grease. Like petroleum-derived diesel, biodiesel is used to fuel compression-ignition (diesel) engines. Biodiesel can be blended with petroleum diesel in any percentage, including B100 (pure biodiesel) and, the most common blend, B20 (a blend containing 20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum diesel). Learn more here about Biodiesel.