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Journey from exploration to filling up with Total Excellium

Have you ever wondered how fuel is manufactured? The process begins with the crude oil from which the petrol is extracted and ends when the Excellium additive is injected into the base fuel. We unpack the process:

Exploration and development

Expropriation image
  • The fuel manufacturing process begins with its main raw material: crude oil. This viscous liquid is the base of all petroleum-derived products, including petrol, diesel fuel, jet fuel, bitumen and paraffin wax amongst dozens of others.
  • Crude oil is a naturally occurring liquid found in rock formations, often deep in the ground. To extract crude oil from the ground, petroleum companies dig deep well bores into the oil reserves and pump it out. The crude oil is then taken to a refinery for the next phase of the fuel manufacturing process.
  • The oil is then delivered via pipelines and railways to refineries for processing.

Refining oil into fuel

Oil processing
  • Once the crude oil arrives at the refinery, the next step in the fuel manufacturing process is refining it. The refinery makes use of a process called fractional distillation. The extraction process uses distillation to break crude oil down into components based on their differing boiling points. 
  • At the molecular level, crude oil is made up of chains of hydrogen and carbon atoms. These hydrocarbon chains come in different lengths.
  • The distillation process begins by heating crude oil to over 400 degrees celsius. The heat causes the oil to turn from a liquid to a vapour. The vapour exits the furnace into a distillation tower. The instant the vapour exits the furnace, it begins to cool down.
  • In the final step of the petrol manufacturing process, additives go into the fuel to make it ready for consumer use. Certain additives are required to reduce emissions and improve fuel consumption. Total’s Excellium additive is injected to the base fuel to give consumers better performance and differentiate their petrol from other companies on the market.

Click here to learn more about our Total Excellium fuel offering.


Formulating high quality

  • From the refinery, fuels are transported via pipelines, ships and railways to terminals and depots. It is at the terminals and depots that Total adds additives to formulate Total Excellium fuel which helps clean your engine.
  • Once the fuels are blended to Total exacting standards, trucks collect from depots or terminals and deliver the product to all Total service stations across the country.

Service station

Service station
  • Before pumping fuel to segregated pipes into designated holding tanks, delivery drivers and the service station manager check the fuel once more to ensure that Total’s high standards are maintained.

You finally fill up!