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US Imports of OPEC Crude Jump in 2007

US imports of OPEC crude oil jumped 12.8% between 2006 and 2007 to an average of 5.394 million barrels per day (mbd), representing 53.8% of all crude oil imports (10.017 mbd), according to figures from the US Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration. Total US imports of crude declined slightly in 2007, down 1% from 2006.

US imports of crude oil, 1973-2007, from OPEC and non-OPEC countries. The red line shows the percentage of the total of OPEC crude. Click to enlarge. Data: EIA

Those figures represent the highest percentage of imported crude from OPEC since 1992, and the largest absolute amount of crude imported from OPEC since 1977—before the Iranian revolution.

The peak of US reliance on OPEC crude was in 1976, when OPEC represented 86% of all crude imported into the US, at an average 4.545 mbd, out of a total 5.287 mbd.

Finished petroleum products imported from OPEC to the US dropped 19.5% in 2007 to 590 thousand barrels per day, down from 733 thousand barrels per day in 2006. Products imported from OPEC in 2007 represented 17.2% of the total of 3.422 mbd.



Who cares where the oil comes from? It's a free market and refiners will buy from where ever they can get it for the lowest price. Right now for the US, it's Canada, Mexico or the Saudis. In a couple of years, after the oil in Mexico and Saudi Arabia runs out, it will be right here in North Dakota:


Where the oil comes from matters -- the more oil from fewer, less friendly sources, the greater risk of being leveraged by a single supplier. The US can't really control what our percentage of OPEC oil is in the sense that it is a free market, but the more diversity in our supply chain, the more stability that supply chain will have.

Since US oil consumption in the past four years of that data has flat lined, I'm not too concerned. If the US can figure out how to let those numbers drop -- even if only 1% per year -- the US will be relying on OPEC oil less, regardless of percentage.


"In a couple of years, after the oil in Mexico and Saudi Arabia runs out, it will be right here in North Dakota:"

keep deluding yourselves, it will only make it more painful when you have to face up to the harsh reality; the US is one of the biggest oil consumers in the world, and you do not have adequate reserves of oil on your domestic territory to supply even a quarter of your needs. you can keep going to worse and worse quality resources, such as oil shale and tar sands, or you can stop being so closed-minded with technologies from the last century like the ICE and dinosaur juice and make the most of the massive renewable resources you have.

btw, probably less than 10% of that 100bn barrels will be recoverable, so North Dakotans shouldn't be reserving their Escalades and Hummers just yet.


Free market. lol

As if.


US Imports of OPEC Crude Jump in 2007 as Oil Available for Export continues to fall:

We cannot forget that middle-east consumption is growing as fast as India & China. Are we already at peak oil exports?


____There is one big reason for the jump in US oil imports from OPEC: Angola. Angola joined OPEC January 1st 2007. Thus US imports of Angolan oil became part of oil imports from OPEC.


____From the chart, oil imports flat-lined over the last few years, with a drop in 2007 vs 2006. Coupled with a slowing economy and higher energy costs, overall and imported oil consumption should drop for 2008 and 2009 as well.

dang bold

Harvey D

The good news is that USA's oil consumption has been almost flat, at about 20.x mbd for the last 3 years, and down slightly (-1%) in 2007/08. This is a welcomed reversal of a long term (increasing) trend.

The bad news are that:

1) USA's oil consumption went up from about 16 mbd in 1985 to 20.x mbd in 2005.

2) the local production has been going down for 20+ years from 8.4 mbd in 1985 to less than 5.0 mbd in 2007/08.

3) oil imports has been going up for 20+ years from 3.3 mbd in 1985 to 10.x mbd in 2007/08.

4) the gap between consumption and local production is still increasing.

Let's hope that the accellerated arrival of Hybrids, PHEVs and BEVs will soon reduce the overall consumption, way below the current 20 mbd.

Of course, a short term economic slow down + higher gas prices + more biofuels can also have a compounded effect on total (fossil oil) consumption.


It sounds like on an absolute number of barrels of oil imported from OPEC we are back to about 1970s levels. In the 1970s, the oil embargoes had a real effect on this country.

At that time, lets say that we imported about 30% of our oil and 86% came from OPEC. Now we import more than 60% of our oil and 50% comes from OPEC.

We are still in a vulnerable position 30 years later. I do not call this an energy policy or anything even remotely close to "energy independence" nor energy security.


And I am afraid this figure will get worse in the 2 to next 3 years, oil production is declining in mexico, and kind of stalling in Venezuela, beyond that we can expect Canada, and New field in mexico gulf come to production ease that dependence to OPEC, North Dakota is still speculative at this point, the big question being : how much is really recoverable ? nobody really knows


I've seen Bakken Formation estimates from 3% all the way to 50% of 200-500 billion barrels of oil (estimates vary). Even 3% of that would significantly increase our oil reserves. There is already a field up there in Montana producing 53,000 barrels per day right now (the Elm Coulee field). We could use another couple dozen of those.

There's supposed to be a new assessment of Bakken finished this year. Guess we'll have to wait for the report. Here's a PDF on the EIA web site.

Still, at least five years before we'll see any oil from there in significant amounts. And if this puts off peak oil, that will give us time and resources to deal with GHG.


I do not know about peak oil, but demand exceeding supply seems possible. ANWR would supply a few percent of our usage. There would probably be no guarantees that any of that oil would ever get to the U.S. Alaskan oil used to have to come to the U.S. That law was changed in 1995 so that they did not have to bring any Alaskan oil to the U.S.



Yes the 5 next years are going to be extremely rocky on the supply side in a ever increasing demand, so prices will go up no matter what the new discoveries are, since it takes 6 years to bring a new field to production, and then here is the problem : 6 years at today rate of consumption pretty much represent the proven reserves of Saoudia (in their low estimates), which means that if the oil production start to decline in the next 5 years it will be extremely difficult to bring them back at their level prior the decline. Because if the world production start to decline even a new Saoudi will not compensate it. But let us be optimistic amd hope that it won't happen this way



The Thunder Horse oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico is finally scheduled to come online this year. After it was nearly capsized by Hurricane Dennis in 2005, and they had to inspect and replace some other systems which caused further delay. I'm not sure how much it'll produce, but presumably a lot.

If Bakken comes through it has the advantage of location, once the distribution infrastructure is installed. It's not in Alaska, it's not in deep water. That's actually a major bottleneck right now for what they can produce. Considering our oil use has been flat for several years, new GOM discoveries and Bakken oil might just do the thing. Depending on how quickly exports from elsewhere decrease. We can even extend supplies with PHEVs.


Flatlining and decline of 1% for last recorded date is good considering the population increases over the years. Without looking at actual census records, the trends seem at first contradictory. We may be doing better than we think overall.

As more hybrids, higher mileage ICE, E85, more fleet electrics and other alternatives as well coming online this year and next, we should continue to see an overall decline.

Oil stays high, the trends will only grow. I appears the tipping point is now at hand in efforts from large car companies to reduce dependency on ICE. Even if gulf oil and ND pay off, oil will most likely stay high if the world economy continues to grow. India and China are booming creating other good and bad pressures.

I hope ND does pay off. Marathon is putting enough investment into it. It would at least potentially reduce dependence on bad actors. While other angles are taken for long term solutions.

What is good is seeing a legitimate race and competition around the world to beat all these problems.


Cervus/ Michael,

Yes the happy scenario would be that the response of the market would be in improving efficient (quite some margin here in US) and a coming of new field that maintain global production flat despite decline in north sea, russia, old mexican field etc... (60 out of 100 oil producing countries are on decline...).the displacement of oild through introduction of PHEV and also biofuel of 4th generation.

Robert Marston

I think it's hopeful that net oil imports are edging lower. With the shift to more efficient vehicles this trend should continue.


Demand is not declining anywhere near as fast as supply in North America. We have over 400,000 oil wells in the U.S., more than any other country. Most produce very little oil. Mexico is declining and so in Canada.

Efficient cars may help, but hybrids are less than 3% of all cars sold and the number of cars sold each year is less than 10% of the cars out there.

People drive more miles from the suburbs to work and back all the time. In the western U.S. people drive a lot of miles and I do not see this changing much soon. I expect to see imports increase even though the value of the dollar has fallen and is still falling.

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