Re: Differences in Fuel by company? Texaco, Shell, etc.? Am I nuts?
That's a great question and no - you're not crazy. Let me begin by telling you that I work in a major refinery on the Gulf Coast in Beaumont, Texas and I've made gasoline, diesel fuel, jet, avgas and other fuels for 25 years so anything I tell you is fact and not opinion. Many companies buy products from each other for many reasons - to save transportation costs, because of lost capacity due to problems or shutdowns (like BP in Texas City right now) and other reasons so there is no garantee that , for example, the Chevron diesel that you bought may have been made in an Exxon refinery. There are standards that all manufacturers must maintain and the Dept. of Agriculture audits fuel stations regularly. Some of you may have seen them. They present the clerk with a voucher and then they fill a 5 gallon can for a testing sample. That is why the dealers that put regular in the super tank won't be in business for long. I'm not sure how often these audits are done, but I can't imagine that it would be any less than once a year and it is always a surprise inspection.
No manufacturer has a fuel that is superior to anyone elses. No manufacturer will exceed the required standard because of lost revenue. If they sell diesel with a higher cetane number or gasoline with a higher octane number that is called "product giveaway" and the business climate won't tolerate that.
I have no doubts that you did, in fact, feel a difference in fuel of different brands. Let me assure you that the difference was due to age or cleanliness of the fuel or possible water contamination and not any variance in fuel quality from one brand to another.
If you have any questions about fuel or the manufacturing process please feel free to PM me.
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