Fuel tanks linked by a walkway at La Collette Terminal

The Terminal Supply Chain

Crude oil is the term used for oil that is taken straight out of the ground. It is a fossil fuel, which means that it formed from organic remains over a period of millions of years.

Crude oil's characteristics vary from "light" - which is a straw-coloured liquid - to "heavy" or tar-black solid. It also is called "sweet" or "sour" depending on the amount of sulphur it contains.

Crude oil is processed at refineries and transformed into useable petroleum products. The resulting products include gasoline, home heating oil, jet fuel, marine fuel, diesel, lubricants and the raw materials for fertiliser, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. It also is a key component in a variety of other products for example, plastics, medicines, crayons and tyres.

Approximately 40% of all energy used comes from various petroleum products that start out as crude oil.

The cost of transporting and moving crude oil to refineries and terminals, greatly affects the final cost of petroleum products. Motor gasoline constitutes about half of the total volume of products produced from crude oil.

A fuel terminal (sometimes called a tank farm or an oil terminal) is an industrial facility for the storage of refined petroleum products and/or petrochemical products and from which these products are usually transported to various end users and consumers. A fuel terminal typically has above ground tankage, gantries for the loading of products into road tankers.

Fuel terminals are usually situated close to oil refineries or in locations where ships containing products can discharge their cargo. Most fuel terminals have road tankers operating from their grounds and these vehicles transport products to filling stations and/or commercial/domestic premises.

The products are sometimes blended at fuel terminals and in most of the cases additives/dyes are injected into products.