Petroleum Statistics

Why Reduce Petroleum Consumption?

There are health, environmental, and political reasons to reduce petroleum consumption. Sources of health risks from petroleum include pesticides in food, nitrates in ground water from petroleum-based fertilizers, chemicals leaching from plastics, and MTBE leaking from gasoline storage tanks. The problems of plastics include extreme pollution from production, toxic chemical exposure during use, hazards from fires, and their contribution to the world’s growing solid waste crisis. One category of chemicals used in plastic production, especially PVC and vinyl, is called organochlorines, which are resistant to breakdown and will remain in the environment for decades to come. Scientific studies reveal that these chemicals are linked to severe and wide-spread health problems, including infertility, immune system damage, impaired childhood development, hormone disruption, cancer and many other harmful effects. Environmental hazards of petroleum use include global climate change from burning petroleum products and oil spills that destroy natural habitats. Oil drilling is one of the main reasons that rainforests around the world are being destroyed. The political effects of petroleum use include manipulation of world markets by governments and large corporations at the expense of the poorest world citizens, and the waging of war in order to control the worlds shrinking oil reserves.

How can we reduce petroleum consumption?

The first step in reducing petroleum consumption is to understand what products are made from petroleum. Petroleum turns up in the ingredients list of more things than most people might be aware of. Here’s a partial list:

  • Gasoline, Motor oil, kerosene, fuels, home heating oil
  • Plastics (and synthetic rubber)
  • Paint, paint thinners, lacquers, solvents, floor cleaners, hair spray, printing inks, asphalt
  • Petroleum (or paraffin) wax used in candy making, packaging, candles, crayons, matches, and polishes
  • Petrolatum (petroleum jelly) used in medical products and toiletries (lip gloss)
  • Synthetic fibers like polyester
  • Fertilizers, pesticides
  • Petroleum coke used as a raw material for many carbon and graphite products, including furnace electrodes and liners, and the anodes used in the production of aluminum
  • Petroleum is used in the generation of electricity (from fossil fuel power plants), and in the transportation of products to market

(2008 data except where noted)

U.S. Petroleum Production (crude oil, NGPL, and other oils) 6,734,000 barrels/day
U.S. Crude Oil Production
4,950,000 barrels/day
U.S. Crude Oil Imports
9,783,000 barrels/day
U.S. Petroleum Product Imports
3,132,000 barrels/day
U.S. Net Petroleum Imports
11,114,000 barrels/day
Dependence on Net Petroleum Imports
Top U.S. Crude Oil Supplier
Canada — 1,956,000 barrels/day
Top U.S. Total Petroleum Supplier
Canada — 2,493,000 barrels/day
State Ranking of Crude Oil Production Texas — 1,087,000 barrels/day
Top Oil Producing Countries & Exporters
#1 — Saudi Arabia (10,782,000 barrels/day)
Top Oil Consuming Countries & Importers
#1 — United States (19,498,000 barrels/day)
U.S. Petroleum Consumption
19,498,000 barrels/day
U.S. Motor Gasoline Consumption
8,989,000 barrels/day (378 million gallons/day)
Share of U.S. Oil Consumption for Transportation
U.S. Total Petroleum Exports
1,802,000 barrels/day
Federal Motor Gasoline Tax
18.4 cents/gallon
U.S. Average Home Heating Oil Price
$3.22/gallon (excluding taxes)
Number of U.S. Operable Petroleum Refineries
Top U.S. Petroleum Refining States #1 — Texas 4,689,179 barrels/day
U.S. Proved Reserves of Crude Oil as of December 31, 2007
21,317 million barrels
U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve
702 million barrels (2008)
Total World Oil Production
85,472,000 barrels/day
Total World Petroleum Consumption
85,534,000 barrels/day
Retail Gasoline Price in Selected Countries (2008) (regular unleaded, $/gallon)
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • United States
  • China
  • Mexico


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