Understanding US Foreign Oil Dependence

POPULAR MYTHOLOGY  —  The United States imports the lion’s share of its oil from the Arab Middle East or Persian Gulf. FACT  —  In 2009 the US imported a grand total of 4.2 billion barrels of crude oil, roughly half of what we use.  What that means is we get nearly half of all the oil we use, FROM THE UNITED STATES!  —  MORE FACTS  —  Actual net imports of crude oil amounts to 51% of US oil consumption.  60% of these OIL IMPORTS, or 2.5 billion barrels, comes from NON-OPEC countries.  The remaining 40% of these OIL IMPORTS comes from OPEC nations (see yesterday’s blog for details of who they are).  Even more interesting is the fact that only 16% of all US Oil Imports comes from the Persian Gulf.Therefore US exposure to Mideast and/or Persian Gulf oil supply risk is actually only 16% of US oil consumption.   Price and market risk are an entirely different animal to be discussed later.  —  Which nations are the top suppliers of oil to the US?   —  As of June 2010  —  The top ten foreign sources of crude oil were: CANADA, MEXICO, SAUDI ARABIA, NIGERIA, VENEZUELA, RUSSIA, IRAQ, ALGERIA, ANGOLA AND COLOMBIA.   —   ANALYSIS  —  The United States effectively hedges its oil supply risk. More than 84% of US oil imports come from geographic areas outside the Persian Gulf.  More than 60% of US imported oil comes from non-OPEC sources.  —  The US is more dependent on Western Hemisphere oil sources than Middle East sources.   —  Instability in the Middle East creates fear of oil supply interruptions.  —  US national security policy focuses on creating and preserving regional stability.  —  Oil market makers such as OPEC have had greater influence on the price of crude in the last three years than in the last 25.  —  US oil risk hedging continues to focus on oil sources less at risk for political disruption and supply interdiction.     —  However, US foreign policy is casting a blind eye on creating strong security strategies and political relationships in the regions that supply the most oil to the US – North and South America.  —  MORE TO COME  —  FOCKER OUT!  —  Note: All data derived from US Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, Petroleum Supply Annual 2010 

Comments are closed.