Heating oil, or burning oil, also known in the United States as No. 2 fuel oil or "offroad diesel" and elsewhere as "red diesel", is a low viscosity, flammable fluid used to fuel building furnaces ("boilers"). It is delivered by tank truck to individual homes and stored in tanks in the basement or (possibly buried) in Underground Storage Tanks (or "USTs").
Heating oil accounts for about 25% of the yield of a barrel of crude, the second largest "cut" after gasoline. The heating oil futures contract trades in units of 42,000 gallons (1,000 barrels) and is based on delivery in New York harbor, the principal cash market trading center. Options on futures, calendar spread options contracts, crack spread options contracts, and average price options contracts give market participants even greater flexibility in managing price risk.
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 NYMEX Division New York harbor heating oil futures.
The Exchange also lists for trading on the NYMEX ClearPort trading platform a series of heating oil swap futures contracts based on crack spreads, location differentials, and differentials between NYMEX Division New York harbor heating oil futures and jet fuel and diesel fuel. Transactions in these contracts can also be consummated off-Exchange and submitted to the Exchange for clearing through the NYMEX ClearPort clearing website.