Refinery Gasoline Brand Additives

Apr 27, 2013
Hello Everyone,

I got into a discussion with someone the other day as it relates to different gasoline brands. My theory is that each brand of gas may come from a local or regional refinery in that geographical locale and that the particular fuel brand speculates before delivery what specific additives go into the truck load or drop of the gas coming from that refinery. For example, if you have Phillips / Connoco refinery that serves a region, they may make fuels available to competing brand stations that have specific additives blended in for that particular brand which may be different from the same grades available at the Phillips / Connoco stations served by that same refinery.

I am only guessing at this possible fact since I cannot see that every major refinery in North America only serves up the brand of gasoline (w/ appropriate additive mix) for that brand only.

I am looking for someone on BITOG to confirm or deny my suspicions here, as I have never worked in the fuel refining and or transport industry.

Thanks in advance for your reply and more "refined knowledge" of this matter.
@GoldDot40 has explained some of this in another thread. He's a tanker driver in the SouthEast.

I can assure you that the way it's done here is that every specific brand gets it's own formula added as the common commodity blendstock product is loaded. In the massive holding tanks at the terminal....yes, all the gasoline is generic which is why it's considered a commodity. The difference is what's added to it when its loaded onto the tanker....which is what makes BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Marathon, Valero, etc unique per load.

My town has 2 terminals. 1 is TransMontaigne and the other is Kinder-Morgan. Each have over 200,000 barrels capacity among their holding tanks. Both have massive separate holding tanks for 84CBOB, 90CBOB, ultra low sulfur clear diesel, ethanol...which is brought in by tanker trucks, and trans-mix.

Then there are several smaller tanks that hold the specific additives that are required to make each specific brand. The additives are brought in via tanker trucks as well. There's also a tank with just red dye that's injected into non-highway use/offroad diesel that makes it exempt from road tax. There's also a lubricant additive that's injected into some diesel formulations.
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ctechbob said what I was going to say.... GoldDot40 posted all about this not too long ago. Forget about the refineries, they basically produce (or refine) "commodity" fuel / gasoline, just the basic, raw product. There aren't a lot of refineries in the country either, at least not compared to the number of fuel terminals. The terminals are where the trucks that deliver fuel to the stations make it specific or unique to the "store" or station that we buy from.

Read the linked thread above for a TON of info about this.
Not all gasoline is just an interchangeable commodity. Sometimes it is segregated, not often, but it happens.

Addatives can be specific to a fuel brand but can also be used in generic brands also. Just depends on who owns the product in the terminal and what they want to sell to who.

Bottom line is all fuel sold meets a specific specification that everyone has to meet and is tested for it. Some claim to be better than the standard.
I finally found the other thread I was looking for that had some really good info in it from GoldDot40: