Liquid asphalt, which includes liquid asphalt cement and residual fuel oils, is one of the world's oldest engineering materials and is one of the most indispensable construction materials in America, with over 94% of paved roads in the United States surfaced with asphalt.
Though asphalt occurs naturally, the majority of today's asphalt is produced as a residual product of the crude oil refining process. Liquid asphalt is a dark brown to black cementitious material that is primarily produced by petroleum distillation. When crude oil is separated in distillation towers at a refinery, the heaviest hydrocarbons with the highest boiling points settle at the bottom. These tar-like fractions, called residuum, require relatively little additional processing to become products such as liquid asphalt or residual fuel oil. Liquid asphalt is primarily used in the road construction and maintenance industry. Residual fuel oil is primarily used as a burner fuel in numerous industrial and commercial business applications. Liquid asphalt production represents only a small portion of the total output of the crude oil refining process.
Blueknight Energy Partners' network of asphalt facilities provides our customers with the flexibility to serve the needs of the asphalt industry and is well-positioned to provide liquid asphalt terminalling, storage and processing services in the market areas they serve throughout the continental United States. Liquid asphalt refiners, marketers and producers of finished asphalt products value access to asphalt storage capacity and processing capabilities such as that uniquely offered by Blueknight.
Blueknight serves the asphalt industry by providing our customers with access to their market areas through a combination of leasing some of our asphalt facilities and through the provision of storage and processing services at our other asphalt and residual fuel oil facilities.