Sunday, September 18, 2011

U.S. Dependence on Foreign Oil Lowest Since 1996

From Daniel Yergin's WSJ article "There Will Be Oil":

"In 2003, the Bakken formation in North Dakota was producing a mere 10,000 barrels a day. Today, it is over 400,000 barrels, and North Dakota has become the fourth-largest oil-producing state in the country. Such "tight" oil could add as much as two million barrels a day to U.S. oil production after 2020—something that would not have been in any forecast five years ago. 

Overall U.S. oil production has increased more than 10% since 2008. Net oil imports reached a high point of 60% in 2005, but today, thanks to increased production and greater energy efficiency (plus the use of ethanol), imports are down to 47%."

MP: The chart above displays oil imports as a share of U.S. demand annually back to 1973 (data here), showing that dependence on foreign oil at 47% this year (average through July) is the lowest in 15 years, since the 46.4% share in 1996.   


At 9/18/2011 10:21 AM, Blogger Rufus II said...

So, w/o the much-reviled corn ethanol it would be 54%? Interesting. :)

At 9/18/2011 10:37 AM, Blogger Rufus II said...

BTW, that "Consumption" number includes a little over a million bbl/day of "Refinery Gain" from refining "Imported" Oil. That refinery gain should be taken out of the Domestic, and put into the "Imported" category.

Then, there is the matter of the NGLs that are used in the refining process, itself. You, eventually, get back up to around 2/3rds from Imports.

At 9/18/2011 11:33 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

how much oil does the US use in one day - 20 million barrels, 7 billion a year?

every little bit helps

what are the estimates of total reserves?

maybe 4 billion

At 9/18/2011 1:10 PM, Blogger Dave said...

I doubt the people who worry about dependence on foreign oil are losing much sleep over Canadian oil. Given they are our largest and most rapidly growing "foreign" source it would be more interesting to see a chart of our dependence on non-U.S./Canadian oil.

At 9/18/2011 1:51 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

How dependent is the United States on foreign oil?

At 9/18/2011 2:09 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Unfortunately, most of the world's oil is controlled by thug nations, such as Nigeria, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, Mexico, where rule of law, property rights, contract law etc are just notions.

Thus global oil supplies are ever suspect and vulnerable.

Even more US energy independence is advisable.

At 9/18/2011 2:22 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"what are the estimates of total reserves? maybe 4 billion" -- Larry

America’s combined energy resources are, according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service (CSR), the largest on earth. They eclipse Saudi Arabia (3rd), China (4th) and Canada (6th) combined – and that’s without including America’s shale oil deposits and, in the future, the potentially astronomic impact of methane hydrates. ...

The CRS estimates US recoverable coal reserves at around 262 billion tons (not including further massive, difficult to access, Alaskan reserves). Given the US consumes around 1.2 billion tons a year, that’s a couple of centuries of coal use, at least. ...

In 2009 the CRS upped its 2006 estimate of America’s enormous natural gas deposits by 25 percent to around 2,047 trillion cubic feet, a conservative figure given the expanding shale gas revolution. At current rates of use that’s enough for around 100 years. Then there is still the, as yet largely publicly untold, story of methane hydrates to consider, a resource which the CRS reports alludes to as “immense…possibly exceeding the combined energy content of all other known fossil fuels.” ... if just 3 percent of this resource can be commercialized … at current rates of consumption, that level of supply would be enough to provide America’s natural gas for more than 400 years. ...

While the US is often depicted as having only a tiny minority of the world’s oil reserves at around 28 billion barrels (based on the somewhat misleading figure of ‘proven reserves’) according to the CRS in reality it has around 163 billion barrels ... enough oil to maintain America’s current rates of production and replace imports from the Persian Gulf for more than 50 years ...

-- EnergyTribune

The U.S. has more than a TRILLION barrels of crude oil in the form of shale. The technology to unlock those reserves is quickly becoming economically viable and is currently being tested and proven in both the U.S. and Israel. This added to our other resources, including massive quantities of thorium, makes U.S. energy potential second to none.

The only thing standing between us and economic prosperity are the environmental lunatics currently in charge of our energy policy.

At 9/18/2011 3:03 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

the 4 billion was the number cited for North Dakota.

there are two concepts.

one is "proven" reserves

and the other is "economically retrievable" resources.

the 2nd basically means the price has to go up before they are feasible.

Shale oil falls in this area, right?

but in general I agree with the premise that we have a ton of reserves that are going to last 100 years or longer...

and by that time - we'll have battery cars with 500 mile ranges and solar/wind/tide electricity to recharge them.

At 9/18/2011 5:33 PM, Blogger Craig said...

the 2nd basically means the price has to go up before they are feasible.

Or, it basically means, the cost of extraction has to go down. Don't leave that one out.

At 9/19/2011 11:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Compare these data against historical real gas prices - you'll find very high correlation between rising gas prices and declining imports. Pretty obvious why: as gas gets uncomfortably expensive, we buy less of it. Since we always consume far more than we produce, a decline in quantity demanded results in a greater drop in imports than in consumption of domestic production, and so the percentage consumed from imports falls.

We've had historically high gas prices for most of five years now - it's no surprise that we're consuming less today than we did then. It's also no surprise that the share of imports has declined,and it has very little to do with increased domestic production.

At 9/19/2011 2:27 PM, Blogger Junkyard_hawg1985 said...

"The only thing standing between us and economic prosperity are the environmental lunatics currently in charge of our energy policy." - Che

Well Said!

At 9/19/2011 2:29 PM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

Hey, said: "America’s combined energy resources are, according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service (CSR), the largest on earth."

Yet on page 20-21 of your quoted report the US is listed at 14th(???)

"largest on earth"??? Are you including hot air in your own calcs???... LOL

At 9/20/2011 9:03 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Isn't creative accounting wonderful? Let us count refinery gains (from imported oil), NGLs, biofuels, subsidised unconventional oil, etc., and we can pretend that there is no problem. Of course, given Yergin's track record of failed predictions why would we take anything that he says seriously?

At 9/20/2011 9:07 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

every little bit helps

Not if the bit costs more in energy as it produces. That is the big problem that Yergin and people like Mark are ignoring. If you have paid attention to the conference calls, the shale producers have said that they need $7.50 gas to make a profit. That means that at less than $4.00 gas they are getting killed, which explains why they are hyping their move to shale liquids. But the industry can't make money in shale liquids either because the marginal cost of production is higher than the market price. The value comes not from production but from the SEC rules that permit acquiring conventional oil companies to hide their reserve declines.

At 9/23/2011 11:36 PM, Blogger Mkelley said...

Letting the Sierra Club dictate our energy policy is insane:


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