The tonne of oil equivalent (toe) is a unit of energy defined as the amount of energy released by burning one tonne of crude oil. It is approximately 42 gigajoules or 11.630 megawatt-hours, although as different crude oils have different calorific values, the exact value is defined by convention; several slightly different definitions exist. The toe is sometimes used for large amounts of energy.

Multiples of the toe are used, in particular the megatoe (Mtoe, one million toe) and the gigatoe (Gtoe, one billion toe). A smaller unit of kilogram of oil equivalent (kgoe or koe) is also sometimes used denoting 1/1000 toe.

## Definitions

The International Energy Agency defines one tonne of oil equivalent (toe) to be equal to:[1]

Conversion into other units:

Some other sources and publications use divergent definitions of toe, for example:

• 1 toe = 10.7 gigacalories (Gcal) – using the thermochemical calorie[2]
• 1 toe = 41.85 gigajoules (GJ)[4]
• 1 toe = 44.769 gigajoules (GJ) – based on using thermochemical calorie (calth)[2]
• 1 toe = 39,683,205.411 British thermal units (BTU)[citation needed]

## Conversion factors

• 1 barrel of oil equivalent (boe) contains approximately 0.136 toe (i.e. there are approximately 7.33 boe in a toe).[5]
• 1 t diesel = 1.01 toe
• 1 m3 diesel = 0.98 toe
• 1 t petrol = 1.05 toe
• 1 m3 petrol = 0.86 toe
• 1 t biodiesel = 0.86 toe
• 1 m3 biodiesel = 0.78 toe
• 1 t bioethanol = 0.64 toe
• 1 m3 bioethanol = 0.51 toe[6]
• 1 MWh = 0.086 toe [7] (therefore 1 toe = 11630.0 kWh) [8]
• At thermal power plants, 1 MWh is generated with 0.22 toe fuel or 0.39 MWh with 0.086 toe[9] (39% thermal to electrical conversion efficiency)

Tonne of oil equivalent should be used carefully when converting electrical units. For instance, BP's 2022 report used a factor of 40% efficiency (the average efficiency of a standard thermal power plant in 2017), or roughly 16.8 GJ per toe, when converting kilowatt-hours to toe. BP's model is also based on the assumption that efficiency will increase linearly to 45% by 2050. [10]

## Derived units

For multiples of the tonne of oil equivalent, it is more usual to speak of millions of tonnes of oil equivalent and kilotonnes of oil equivalent (ktoe).

Multiple Name Symbol
103 kilotonne of oil equivalent ktoe
106 megatonne of oil equivalent Mtoe

## References

1. ^ "Unit converter and glossary". International Energy Agency. December 2016. Retrieved 22 December 2019.
2. ^ a b c American Physical Society
3. ^ "OPEC Annual Statistical Bulletin 2014 - Conversion Factors". Archived from the original on 2015-05-09.
4. ^ Definition at 41.85 GJ
5. ^ "Unit Conversion Factors | Society of Petroleum Engineers". Archived from the original on 2015-02-02.
6. ^ Biofuels in the European Union progress report
7. ^ IEA Statistics
8. ^ The Society of Petroleum Engineers
9. ^ World Energy Council Archived 2008-05-29 at the Wayback Machine
10. ^ "BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2022" (PDF). Retrieved 2023-02-22.