Date published: March 1, 2012
Data presented in the Monthly Energy Review and in other U.S. Energy Information Administration publications are expressed predominately in units that historically have been used in the United States, such as British thermal units, barrels, cubic feet, and short tons. However, because U.S. commerce involves other nations, most of which use metric units of measure, the U.S. Government is committed to the transition to the metric system, as stated in the Metric Conversion Act of 1975 (Public Law 94-168), amended by the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 (Public Law 100-418), and Executive Order 12770 of July 25, 1991.
The metric conversion factors presented in Table B 1 can be used to calculate the metric-unit equivalents of values expressed in U.S. Customary units. For example, 500 short tons are the equivalent of 453.6 metric tons (500 short tons x 0.9071847 metric tons/short ton = 453.6 metric tons).
In the metric system of weights and measures, the names of multiples and subdivisions of any unit may be derived by combining the name of the unit with prefixes, such as deka, hecto, and kilo, meaning, respectively, 10, 100, 1,000, and deci, centi, and milli, meaning, respectively, one-tenth, one-hundredth, and one-thousandth. Common metric prefixes can be found in Table B2.
The conversion factors presented in Table B 3 can be used to calculate equivalents in various physical units commonly used in energy analyses. For example, 10 barrels are the equivalent of 420 U.S. gallons (10 barrels x 42 gallons/barrel = 420 gallons).