U.S. Oil Supply: Drilling Down to the Facts

by: Kofi Bofah

Let us drill down, pun intended, to the facts concerning the actual sources of United States petroleum products. Of course, Big Oil has served as the all-to-convenient whipping boy of politicians, commentators, and consumers hell-bent upon railing against this 'evil price gouger.'

The outrage reached a fever pitch this past summer, paralleling a relentless march towards $150 oil and $4.50 gasoline. We shall work to proactively expose these greedy purveyors of destruction, mayhem, and outright terror that have embarked upon a coordinated mission to wage warfare and chaos towards Western Civilization:

Texas. Louisiana. Oklahoma. Alaska. The Gulf Coast. Canada. Mexico.


In 2007, the United States of America consumed 20.7 millions barrels per day (MMbd), ranking as the world's leading market for petroleum products. At 5.1 MMbd the U.S. also represents the third largest producer of crude oil on the planet behind Russia and Saudi Arabia. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, these two resource rich nations tallied 2006 production levels of 9.2 and 9.15 million barrels per day, respectively.

In spite of these staggering figures, Texas, Alaska, Louisiana, California and the Gulf Coast are responsible for a larger share of our daily crude oil supply than these Russian and Saudi Arabian fossil fuel behemoths.

Refining efficiencies add another 3.6 MMbd to total U.S. production. Interestingly, the United States exported 1.4 MMbd of crude oil, while importing 13.5 million barrels per day of Black Gold. Basic arithmetic arrives at a shortfall separating domestic consumption from production at 12 million barrels per day that is the net balance between imports and exports of crude oil.

20.7 MMbd = (5.1 U.S. + 3.6 refining + 13.5 imported) - 1.4 exported

*.1 MMbd difference due to rounding

No regime listed amidst our top fifteen crude oil suppliers is openly hostile towards the United States Government. The Department of Energy lists the following nations as our primary 2007 sources of crude oil - supplying 9.3 million barrels per day, or 93% of all imports: Canada (18.2%), Mexico (11.4%), Saudi Arabia (11%), Venezuela (10.1%), Nigeria (8.4%), Angola (5%), Iraq (4.8%), Algeria (4.4%), Ecuador (2%), Kuwait (1.7%), Brazil (1.6%), Colombia (1.4%), United Kingdom (1%), Libya, and Chad (since replaced with Azerbaijan and Equatorial Guinea.)

Venezuela and Hugo Chavez represent the lone regime out of this group that may be identified with anti-American rhetoric. Indeed, the controversial leader that labels George W. Bush as "the devil," leader of the "cruelest, most terrible most murderous empire that has ever existed" is mere talk.

Venezuela would collapse without its top customer to the north - responsible for 60% of all petrodollar revenue that has been showered upon the Venezuelan people in the form of grandiose social programs. The United States is the only existing industrialized nation equipped with the refining technology capable of processing this lower quality, heavy Orinoco Basin crude oil.

Additionally, 90% of all finished petroleum products such as gasoline, jet fuel, heating oil, and diesel that are consumed by Americans have also been refined within our borders.

Please arm yourselves with these statistics and proceed accordingly.

Diligent readers may note that I correctly foreshadowed the imminent price collapse of crude oil amidst a raging bull market for the energy complex. We must not allow ourselves to fall privy to the shock and awe display of rash politics and hack, tabloid journalism.

Disclosure: Author holds a long position in XOM