Conversion / Equivalents
Frequently Asked Questions – Conversion / Equivalents
 How do I convert fuels from one unit of measure to another—from gallons to barrels, for example? How many gallons of gasoline does one barrel of oil make? How do I convert between short tons and metric tons? How do I compare heating fuels? Back to all Frequently Asked Questions topics

Question: How do I convert fuels from one unit of measure to another—from gallons to barrels, for example?
 To compare fuels, you must convert physical units of measure, such as weight or volume, and energy content measures of each fuel to comparable units. One way to compare different fuels is to convert them into British thermal units (Btu). The Btu is the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water 1 degree Fahrenheit.  To convert units of measure, use the Energy Calculator - Common Units and Conversions. Last reviewed: April 17, 2008

Question: How many gallons of gasoline does one barrel of oil make?
 One barrel (42 gallons) of crude oil, when refined, yields approximately 19.6 gallons of finished motor gasoline. Last reviewed: April 17, 2008

Question: How do I convert between short tons and metric tons?
 Convert short tons of coal to metric tons by multiplying the number of short tons by 0.907184. For example, 12,300 short tons X 0.907184 = 11,158 metric tons. Coal Conversion Calculator Last reviewed: April 17, 2008

Question: How do I compare heating fuels?
 When choosing a heating system for a new home or replacing an existing system, consumers often want to compare the cost of heating fuels. Because fuels are measured and sold in different units such as gallons of oil, therms of natural gas, or kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity, comparing the price of dissimilar units is not useful. A more useful comparison is the fuel cost per amount of heat produced. EIA’s Heating Fuel Comparison Calculator (Excel) helps you make this comparison. It factors in the relative price based on the fuel heat content and the heating appliance’s efficiency. The Comparison Calculator provides step-by-step instructions, including how to find cost and efficiency data to use with the Calculator. (The Calculator is a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. You can use it online or save it to your hard drive and then open it in Excel.) In choosing a heating system, don’t rely solely on cost. Numerous factors will determine the heating system that best meets your needs. The Comparison Calculator (Excel) provides links to additional information that will help you choose a heating system. Compare fuel costs (Excel) Last updated: December 18, 2008