Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Purpose of the S.C. Petroleum Marketers Association?

SCPMA serves its members through lobbying, regulatory notices, continuing education and member publications. The organization serves as the united voice for the petroleum marketing industry. Our members consist of marketer members (Jobbers and convenience store owners); supplier members (Companies that provide products/services to marketers); and major oil supplier members (Gasoline and fuel oil refiners and importers, pipeline companies and independent terminal companies.)

What Determines the Price of a Gallon of Gasoline?

  • The cost of a barrel of crude oil determines the price of gas. On November 29, the price for a barrel of crude oil was $59.51 according to the NYMEX. 
  • A 42 U.S. gallon barrel of crude oil provides slightly more than 44 gallons of petroleum products.  This gain from processing the crude oil is similar to what happens to popcorn, which gets bigger after it is popped.
  • Refining, transporting, storing and marketing of gasoline added up to approximately 46 cents per gallon of cost.
  • Federal taxes add another 18.4 cents per gallon, and S.C. taxes add another 16.75 cents per gallon in cost.

What Determines the Price of Oil?  

The historic swings in oil prices last year were the result of financial speculation from Wall Street and not supply and demand.  Steve Kroft with 60 Minutes investigates.  Click on the link below to view his report:


Click here to see the U.S. Gasoline Supply Network by Region


Facts about S.C. Convenience Stores

  • There are 3,960 retail outlets of any kind at which the public can buy gasoline in South Carolina.
  • In 2012, we sold approx. 3.38 billion gallons of taxable fuel.
  • South Carolina convenience stores conduct 700 to 1,400 transactions a day.
  • It takes a minimum of eight to 10 staff people to run a store for one 24 hour cycle.
  • On average, 66.5 percent of the sales at a convenience store are gasoline sales.
  • New convenience stores in urban areas (populations 50,000 or greater) require an investment of $397,029 for motor fuel equipment and $57,706 for motor fuel inventory. For rural stores, the figures are $274,582 and $39,100. For both types of stores, motor fuel equipment is roughly half of total equipment costs for stores.

What Can Be Made from a 42-Gallon Barrel of Crude Oil?

  • 19.65 gallons of gasoline.
  • 10.03 gallons of fuel oil (includes home heating oil and diesel fuel).
  • 4.07 gallons of jet fuel.
  • 1.72 gallons of residual fuel oil (heavy oils used as fuels in industry, marine transportation and for electric power generation).
  • Other items such as liquefied refinery gas, still gas, petroleum coke, asphalt and road oil, lubricants and kerosene.

What Legislative Issues Affect Petroleum Marketers?

  • SUPERB Fund
  • Gasoline Taxes
  • Lottery
  • Convenience Stores
  • Trucking
  • Beer, Wine and Tobacco Sales
  • Blending Below the Rack Law

Facts about U.S. Oil Production and Consumption

  • The world consumes 30 billion barrels of oil per year.
  • For every 10 barrels of conventional oil consumed, only four new barrels are discovered.
  • The United States has not had a major new refinery built since 1976.
  • The United States devours one out of four of the 84 million barrels of oil consumed daily around the world, and one of every two litres of gasoline.
  • In 1980, there were more than 300 U.S. refineries. Over the last quarter of a century, the number of refineries has decreased to fewer than 150. These refineries produce 357 million gallons of gasoline a day.
  • The United States' refining capacity is approximately 16 million barrels a day.

What Factors Determine What You Pay at the Pump?


According to the U.S. Department of Energy, here's an approximation of where each dollar you spend on gas goes:

    65 cents - Crude Oil

    14 cents - Refining
    13 cents - Taxes
      8 cents - Distribution and Marketing


What Are You Paying in Gasoline Taxes per Gallon?


Federal Gasoline Tax Breakdown:

18.3 Federal Motor Fuel Excise Tax

    .1 Leading Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund

18.4 Total


Federal Diesel Tax Breakdown:

24.3 Federal Motor Fuel Excise Tax

     .1 Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund

24.4. Total


State Gasoline & Diesel Tax Breakdown:

16.00 State Motor Fuel Excise Tax

    .25 State Inspection Fee

    .50 State SUPERB Fee

16.75 Total


Click here to view the video.

How Much Does a Retailer Make on a Gallon of Gas?


Who Owns All of the Gas Stations?


Why Do Gas Prices Fluctuate So Much? 


Fact Sheets

Scope of the Industry
Motor Fuels/Gasoline Myths & Facts


Where can I buy biodiesel in SC?


Find an E-85 Refueling Location Near You:



South Carolina Petroleum Marketers Association
From the mountains to the coast and all points in between, we're with you every mile.

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