The United States relies heavily on the oil industry for both residential and commercial heating purposes. Home heating oil (HHO) is a petroleum-based substance, classified as Number 2 fuel oil and used primarily to heat residential and commercial buildings. HHO is similar to diesel fuel used in some vehicles, but is subject to a different tax. All oil types (classified as one through six) are derived from crude oil, whether through distillation or another process. HHO is classified as a distillate based on the method used to extract it from crude oil.
Increases in the price of crude oil have resulted in skyrocketing prices for home heating oil over the past several years, and as a result, HHO has gotten a bad rap. According to the Energy Communications Council, one 42-gallon barrel of crude oil produces about 11 gallons of distillate. Of these 11 gallons, only about two gallons end up as home heating oil.
The U.S. relies heavily on outside sources to import most crude oil used for various purposes in the country. The Middle East has historically been known as one of the richest oil-producing areas in the world, although recent data indicates that our dependence on imports from this region is much smaller than most Americans believe.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Association, Canada is the top source of U.S. crude oil imports as of June 2011, at about 2,085,000 barrels per day. Saudi Arabia is the second top source with 1,164,000 barrels per day as of June 2011. Iraq, Kuwait and Chad are also listed among the top 15 sources of U.S. crude oil imports.
Overall, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that U.S. crude oil imports totaled 1,933,398 (thousands of barrels), equaling 190,012,455 (thousands of dollars) between January 2011 and July 2011.