on oil sources

a post that I saw in late January, 2003, addressed oil sources, how to find out what they are, and how to determine where your petroleum expenditures go to.  As is often the case with such forwards, no links were given to the information "available from the Department of Energy".

The US DOE does indeed maintain company-level import data at


However, DOE also notes:

For several reasons, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) cannot definitively say where gasoline at a given station originated:
  1. EIA does not collect data on the source of the gasoline sold at retail outlets.
  2. The name on the service station sign does not tell the whole story. The fact that you purchase gasoline from a given company does not necessarily mean that the gasoline was actually produced by that particular company's refineries. While gasoline is sold at about 176,000 retail outlets across the nation1, about one-third of these stations are “unbranded” dealers that may sell gasoline of any brand2. The remainder of the outlets are “branded” stations, but may not necessarily be selling gasoline produced at that company's refineries. This is because gasoline from different refineries is often combined for shipment by pipeline, and companies owning service stations in the same area may be purchasing gasoline at the same bulk terminal. In that case, the only difference between the gasoline at station X versus the gasoline at station Y may be the small amount of additives that those companies add to the gasoline before it gets to the pump.
  3. Even if we knew at which company's refinery the gasoline was produced, the source of the crude oil used at that refinery may vary on a day-to-day basis. Most refiners use a mix of crude oils from various domestic and foreign sources. The mix of crude oils can change based on the relative cost and availability of crude oil from different sources.
Source: http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/experts/contactexperts.htm



I've downloaded and alphabetized the most recent data as of January 2003; it's available here.  It's a hodgepodge of various sources boycottable for all sorts of different country-related reasons; bearing in mind, of course, that the source of any particular filling station's gasoline is questionable.

I further wonder if perhaps the intent of the original letter which was forwarded is something which activists on the list might want to turn around.  After all… if one postulates that the reason for the war on Iraq is for certain US domestic producers of oil to seize foreign oil fields, wouldn't the correct boycott be the domestic sources of oil, rather than the foreign ones?

All hypothetically, of course, since there's no real way to tell where the darn gasoline came from anyway. ;->