Heating oil is used to fuel furnaces within buildings. It is usually dyed to distinguish it from taxed vehicle fuel. Typically, delivery is by tanker truck to individual homes and commercial spaces, and the oil is stored in oil tanks in the basement or next to the building. Leaks in older facilities are an environmental concern.
Heating oil futures contracts trade in units of 42,000 gallons, which is the equivalent of 1,000 barrels. Prices are based on delivery in New York City harbor, the principal cash market trading center. The heating oil futures contract is also used to hedge diesel fuel and jet fuel, both of which trade in the cash market at an often stable premium to heating oil futures.