Where Does All the Oil Come From?
The United States and Oil Imports - Facts and Figures

Over the course of the past few years, a great deal of media attention has focused on the not only the cost of oil but the availability of oil. Citizens of different countries around the world, including those in the United States, have become increasingly concerned about the cost and availability of fuel oil.

With that in mind, many people have expressed concern about:

In point of fact, the United States has become ever more dependent upon imported or foreign oil. A mere thirty years ago, 28% of the oil consumed in the United States was imported. Today nearly 60% of the oil utilized and consumed in the United States is imported from other countries.

Turning to the stability of the nations from which the U.S. imports oil, a good share of imported oil does come from nations that have fairly stable political situations. However, as will be discussed shortly, the largest amount of oil reserves are located in the Middle East -- one o fthe most volatile regions of the world. Most people are surprised to learn that the country from which the United States imports the greatest amount of oil is Canada. In recent years, the United States has imported approximately 200 million barrels of crude oil annually from Canada.

Oil imports into the United States from Saudi Arabia come in at second place with about 160 million barrels of crude oil annually from the Kingdom. The United States imports about the same amount of oil from Mexico as it does from Saudi Arabia on an annual basis. Other countries from which the United States imports oil are: Venezuela, Nigeria, Iraq, the United Kingdom, Norway, Angola, Algeria and Colombia.

Of course, oil is a limited resource. The bulk of proven, remaining oil reserves in the world today are located in the Middle East. In the Middle East there are an estimated 727 billion barrels of oil in reserve. The amount of oil in the Middle East far outstrips what is available anywhere else on Earth. For example, the known reserves in Central and South America are an estimated 99 billion barrels, in Africa an estimated 87 billion barrels, in the nations of the former Soviet Union an estimated 78 billion barrels and in Western Europe and China there is an estimated 18 billion barrels in each location. Rounding out the list is Mexico with an estimated 16 billion barrels of oil in reserve and India with an estimated 5 billion barrels of oil in reserve.

Oil, coal and natural gas account for more than 85% of the energy consumed in the United States at this point in time. Oil accounts for nearly 40% of all energy utilized in the United States in this day and age.

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