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HMRC internal manual

Oils Technical Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Introduction and overview of oils activity: types of oil products and their use: oil products


Term Meaning
AVGAS Aviation gasoline. Aviation spirit used in piston-engined aircraft – effectively high octane petrol.
AVTUR Aviation turbine fuel. Kerosene delivered unmarked and undyed at the fully rebated rate of duty for use as fuel for aircraft engines. (Not to be used as road fuel ).
Biodiesel A diesel quality liquid fuel derived from biomass or waste cooking oils, the ester content of which is not less than 96.5% by weight and the sulphur content of which does not exceed 0.005% by weight or is nil.
Bioblend Any mixture that is produced from mixing biodiesel and a duty suspended heavy oil.
Bioethanol A liquid fuel consisting of denatured ethanol from biomass and capable of being used for the same purpose as light oil.
Bioethanol blend Any mixture that is produced by mixing bioethanol and a duty suspended light oil.
Bitumen Extremely heavy semi-solid product of oil refining.
Black oil A description for the heavier, less pure oils such as fuel oil and crude. This term is usually used in transportation.
Burning oil An alternative name for kerosene or paraffin.
Butane Normally a gas but can be easily liquefied (see LPG). Component of gasoline.
Condensate Light crude taken off natural gas; used as a feedstock.
Coumarin Statutory marker added to kerosene. (1.2 benzopyrone).
Crude oil The basic raw material that undergoes refining.
Dark oil A heavy oil which is darker than ASTM colour 3.0 in the table of Glass Colour Standards. For field test purposes oil that is darker than a used copper coin. (Not for use as a motor or road fuel as the dark colour will mask the presence of any fiscal dyes).
DERV Originally a fuel for Diesel Engined Road Vehicles, this has been replaced by ULSD and SFD.
Distillate See middle distillate
Diesel See DERV (Gas Oil)
Electrical oils Oils used as a coolant or as an insulating fluid in electrical machinery.
Euro-marker A statutory marker added to rebated fuels throughout Europe. Gives fuel a pale yellow colour. Countries may add their own markers and dyes in addition to Euro-marker – the UK does. N-ethyl-N{2-(1-isobutoxyethoxy) ethyl}-4-(phenylazo) aniline.
Feedstock Material to be processed in a refinery.
Fuel oil Heavy oil which contains in solution an amount of asphaltenes of not less than 0.5% or which contains less than 0.5% but not less than 0.1% of asphaltenes and has a closed flashpoint not exceeding 150ºC. Used for fuelling large steam turbines e.g. in power stations or marine engines.
Gas  condensate A light oil that is a naturally occurring by-product of gas production
Gas oil Heavy oil of which not more than 50% by volume distils at a temperature not exceeding 240ºC and of which more than 50% by volume distils at a temperature not exceeding 340ºC. Industry term referring to all products that will be used as road fuel or MGO (Marked Gas Oil)
Gasoline See motor spirit
Heavy oil Oil other than light oil
Hydrocarbon Chemical descriptor of any molecule containing only carbon and hydrogen atoms. Crude oil typically contains more than 97% hydrocarbons.
Kerosene A heavy oil of which more than 50% by volume distils at a temperature not exceeding 240ºC. Commonly known as burning oil or paraffin. (Not to be used as a road fuel ).
Light oil Oil of which not less than 90% by volume distils at a temperature not exceeding 210ºor which gives off an inflammable vapour at a temperature of less than 23ºC when tested in the manner prescribed by the Acts relating to petroleum.
Lube oil Heavy oil used for lubrication of moving parts. Not liable to excise duty. NB The Specification of some lube oils can be very close to Gas oil, so there is the possibility of mis-description of Gas Oil to avoid an excise duty liability.
Marked oil Oil containing markers prescribed by Hydrocarbon Oil (Marking) Regulations 2002.
MDO Marine Diesel Oil, usually a blend of Gas oil and heavier fractions.
Medium oil Oils which for customs duty purposes, lie between spirits and heavy oil. It includes lighter oil within the excise definition of heavy oil, but is not an excise category of oil.
Middle distillate The products produced from the mid range of the fractionating column during distillation of crude oil. Gas oil and kerosene.
MOGAS A common trade term for petrol (mineral oil) gasoline & aviation spirit.
Motor spirit Oil used as a fuel for a petrol engine charged at the full rate of duty.
MGO Marked (rebated) Gas oil. Gas oil that is dyed and chemically marked to attract the rebated rate of duty. (Not for use as road fuel).
Paraffin See kerosene.
Petroleum Motor spirit, petrol, gasoline.
Propane Normally a gas but can easily be liquefied. It is the principle gas used as a road fuel.
Quinizarin Statutory marker added to gas oil. 1,4-dihydroxyantheaquinone.
Rebated fuel Fuel on which a rebate of duty has been allowed.
Red diesel See MGO.
Solvent red A red dye used to mark fuel, technically referred to as CI (colour index) Red 24 dye.
Solvent yellow A combined Yellow dye and fiscal marker used to mark fuel, also known as the Euro-marker or Solvent Yellow 124.
SFD Sulphur Free Diesel, Diesel that does not contain more than 10 p.p.m. sulphur
SFP Sulphur Free Petrol. Petrol that does not contain more than 10 p.p.m. sulphur.
Technical oils Commercial indication that oil is specially produced for a purpose other than as a fuel or lubricant.
Tractor diesel See Red diesel.
Transformer oil Oil used in electrical transformers as a coolant and as an insulator. See also electrical oils.
ULSD Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel containing less than 50 p.p.m. sulphur. The current standard retail diesel.
ULSP Ultra Low Sulphur Petrol containing less than 50 p.p.m. sulphur. The current standard retail petrol.
Unrebated oil Undyed and unmarked oil that has borne duty at the full rate, (usually as a road fuel).
White diesel Another name for unmarked, un-rebated Diesel or Gas oil. A heavy oil of which not more than 50% by volume distils at a temperature not exceeding 240ºC and of which more than 50% by volume distils at a temperature not exceeding 340ºC
White oil A description applied to the lighter and purer oils. Generally covers all refined light oils and distillates.
White spirit A specialised light oil normally used as a solvent.