While enjoying fun in the sun on Greater Fort Lauderdale's award-winning "Blue Wave Beaches" you may notice oil tankers in the Atlantic Ocean lining up for the trip into Port Everglades. As you leave the beach and head to your sport utility vehicle, you remember you need to fill up your gas tank. Did you ever wonder how the gasoline you use in your vehicle gets to the gas station?
Where Does Gasoline Come From?
Utterly dependent on gasoline to fuel our personal, commercial and recreational vehicles and other machines, the United States alone consumes about 130 billion gallons of gasoline each year. So where does all of this gasoline come from? The United States produces 180 million barrels of crude oil and imports an additional 300 million barrels from foreign countries each year. After the black crude oil is pumped out of the ground, it is transported to a refinery where the petroleum is heated and separated, thus producing a variety of petroleum products including gasoline, various solvents, kerosene, motor oil and even asphalt.
Three-quarters of the refined gasoline delivered to Port Everglades comes from refineries in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi along the Gulf Coast. The rest comes from the Caribbean basin, South America, Europe and other oil exporting countries.
Fill 'Er Up!
As South Florida's primary storage and distribution center for refined petroleum products, Port Everglades supplies about one-fifth of the energy that keeps the Sunshine State on the move. During the past fiscal year, 661 petroleum ships called on Port Everglades. Every day, giant oil tankers deliver about 12.5 million gallons of petroleum products to Port Everglades. More than 50 percent of that is gasoline - amounting to about 400,000 individual fill-ups each day. More than a dozen major oil companies have offices at Port Everglades and operate petroleum terminals and pipelines.
After a Tanker Ship Docks at the Port
Workers attach pipes to the sides of the ship and pump the gasoline contents from the ship's hold into large white storage tanks. Tanker trucks line up at the Port to fill their tanks with approximately 8,000-12,000 gallons of gas each. The trucks then travel to gas stations in 12 counties all over South Florida to deliver the gasoline that you use in your vehicles.