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Top 10 Sources for U.S. Oil for 2009

It has been two years since I posted the Top 10 oil exporters to the U.S., so I thought I would update that list. In 2007, the U.S. imported just over 10 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil, with our top three suppliers being Canada (1.90 million bpd), Saudi Arabia (1.44 million bpd), and Mexico (1.41). Total oil imported into the U.S. in 2007 averaged 10.0 million bpd. OPEC countries supplied just over half of that – 5.3 million bpd. (All data sourced from the EIA).

Data for 2009 are available through October, so I tabulated the twelve-month period from November 2008 through October 2009. Total petroleum imports were down 7% from 2007 at 9.3 million bpd. Top U.S. suppliers for this time period were Canada (1.94 million bpd), Mexico (1.13 million bpd), and Saudi Arabia (1.09 million bpd).

Top 10 Sources for U.S. Crude Oil in 2009

1. Canada – 1.94 million bpd
2. Mexico – 1.13
3. Saudi Arabia – 1.09
4. Venezuela – 1.01
5. Nigeria – 0.74
6. Angola – 0.48
7. Iraq – 0.47
8. Brazil – 0.30
9. Algeria – 0.28
10. Colombia – 0.25

Observations

Canada remained the top supplier to the U.S., and their total exports to the U.S. actually increased slightly over 2007. Imports from Brazil and Columbia also increased.

OPEC supply was down to 4.6 million bpd, which is lower both in absolute terms and as a percentage of total imports (53.7% in 2007 versus 49.1% in 2009).

Dropping out of the Top 10 from 2007 were Ecuador and Kuwait. Taking their places were Brazil and Columbia.

Even though Mexico regained the 2nd spot from Saudi Arabia, total imports form Mexico fell by 20% over 2007.

The most unusual observation for me was that we actually imported a small amount of oil from China.

The overall theme seems to be that in general suppliers that are closer to the U.S. are gaining market share at the expense of those who have to ship their oil halfway around the world. However, there are a couple of important exceptions to that observation.

Equatorial Guinea did not make the list (15th place), but saw their exports to the U.S. increase by 67% over 2007. This trend could see them move into the Top 10 within a couple of years. Imports from Russia were up 98% over 2007, and they just missed the Top 10 (11th).

My expectation when I update this list again in 2012 is that either overall imports will be up, oil will be over $150/bbl, or both.

January 26, 2010 Posted by | EIA, investing, oil exports, oil production | Comments Off

Forbes Making Misleading Claims

Forbes magazine is making claims that the U.S. is exporting oil to other countries:

America’s Oil Export Problem (Yes, Export)

The U.S. could cut oil imports by nearly 15% tomorrow without using less gasoline, invading a foreign country or driving up prices at the pump. How? By cutting exports.

This will come as a surprise to many, but in the past four years U.S. oil and petroleum exports have reached four consecutive record highs–at least since the early ’80s. In 2007, the U.S. exported 1.43 million barrels of oil per day; up by roughly half a million barrels of oil per day since 2004.

As I said when Jon Tester made similar claims, that’s utter rubbish:

First off, here are the numbers from the EIA on exports from the U.S. of petroleum and petroleum products. What is the #1 destination for these exports? Mexico, one of our largest suppliers of crude oil. #2? Canada, our largest supplier of oil. And what are we sending them? Here, again, is the breakdown. The #1 product that we are supplying? Petroleum coke. #2? Residual fuel oil.

Misleading arguments simply give comfort to those who would argue that energy independence is within our grasp. After all, we are exporting all of this oil to other countries! But such arguments misrepresent the situation we are in.

The argument is correct on one point. Exports of high sulfur diesel did increase when the ultra-low-sulfur-diesel specs went into effect in the U.S. in 2006. However, in 2007 they were back down to the 2005 levels. Further, the total is still only a fraction of the ‘barrels’ of petroleum coke that are factored into the total ‘petroleum’ exports.

But the sound bite message that most people will come away with from articles like this is that we could go a long way toward energy independence if we just stop exporting oil. Just like we could be energy independent if those darn environmentalists would move out of the way and let us drill into our remaining oil reserves. The fact is, the problem of energy independence is so much greater than that. Drilling would be a drop in the bucket (albeit one that I favor). Exports are a drop in the bucket, and the countries that receive the exports – primarily Canada and Mexico – provide us far more petroleum in return.

October 2, 2008 Posted by | Canada, Mexico, oil exports, oil imports | 196 Comments

Tester’s Energy Plan

Tis the season for energy plans. Coming up on the elections, everyone has to have a plan – and I was just e-mailed a copy of Montana Senator John Tester’s plan. There are some good components, but it is also rich with irony.

A common-sense energy plan for Montana and America

As Sharla and I buckle down for another harvest near Big Sandy, we’re feeling what all Montanans are feeling at home — the pinch of out-of-control energy prices.

It’s an issue that I deal with every day as a U.S. Senator and as a family farmer. Our energy problems are the result of poor presidential leadership and a weak dollar. And with $12 billion in borrowed money going to Iraq every month, our dollar isn’t going to get stronger any time soon.

For 30 years we’ve known that depending on imported oil was dangerous foreign policy and bad economic policy. But we haven’t done what it takes to get ourselves off it. That needs to change. And that’s why I support a three-part plan for the short term and the long term:

First, we ought to drill more in places that make sense, like eastern Montana. The Bakken Formation holds an estimated four billion barrels of recoverable oil. I don’t have a problem with responsible drilling offshore or in parts of Alaska set aside for drilling. But I want to be darn sure that oil stays in America, not shipped off to Asia so the big oil companies can make more record profits.

Second, I believe that oil speculation and hedging has gotten way out of hand. Some folks on Wall Street are trading oil they never intend to actually use in order to make a quick buck. That creates artificial supply and demand, resulting in artificially high gas prices. That’s why I support smart legislation cracking down on out-of-control manipulation of the oil market.

And of course, conservation and renewable energy have to play a big role in our energy future. It’s time to make a serious investment in renewable energy like biofuels, wind, solar power, and geothermal energy.

Unfortunately, a few White House allies in Congress shot down important legislation like extending tax credits for renewable energy, cracking down on speculators and hedgers, and getting tough on OPEC. They pay lip service to the need for renewable energy, then insist on voting only for legislation that gives big oil bigger profits.

Drilling for more oil can’t be the only solution. Drilling is a bridge, but without a long-term solution it will be a bridge to nowhere. As a country that uses 25 percent of the world’s oil, yet has only three percent of it, drilling alone won’t solve the problem. Some on the other side of the aisle are not shooting straight with Montanans.

You would think from listening to some politicians that the big oil companies’ agenda is the solution to record high gas prices. That defies common sense when the U.S. is exporting 1.4 million barrels every day to other countries. It’s another example of the failed leadership that has taken the price of a gallon of gas from $1.50 in 2001 to more than $4 today.

With our national and economic security at stake, it’s time for all of Congress to work together. It’s a shame partisan politics gets in the way of common sense. Montana families and main street businesses deserve better than that.

I’m always interested in hearing your thoughts on the issues. Please visit http://tester.senate.gov/contact to drop me a note.

Jon Tester
United States Senator

Funny story about Tester. Montana has a significant oil refining industry. Yet when he was campaigning, gasoline had just cracked $3/gal, so he campaigned on the party line: “Big Oil is evil and is ripping everyone off.” So, one day I was at home in Billings, and the doorbell rang. It was someone from the Tester campaign, asking if they could count on my vote.

I looked at him for a few seconds, and I said “I work downtown at the ConocoPhillips refinery. You have said some pretty nasty things about my industry, and insulted a lot of hard-working people in the process. So tell me why I should vote for Tester.” The guy looked very uncomfortable, and said “Look, buddy. It’s not personal. It’s just politics.” So I responded with “And it won’t be personal if I don’t vote for him.”

That is Jon Tester. A man with some good idea, but also very quick to fall in line and resort to the ad hominem attacks in order to win votes. In his proposal above, he calls for responsible drilling, conservation, and investments in renewable energy. I am with him on those. And then he makes some completely asinine statements that make me wonder “Is this guy serious?” Here are some examples:

But I want to be darn sure that oil stays in America, not shipped off to Asia so the big oil companies can make more record profits.

That’s stupid on several fronts. First, oil removed from federal lands must already stay in America. Second is the implication that oil companies are engaged in the shady business of sending oil to Asia when we have shortfalls at home. (More on that below). Finally, he wants to be sure that America’s oil stays in America. How about Canada’s oil? As Canada is our largest supplier of oil, where would we be if Canada adopted Tester’s plan – that Canada’s oil stays in Canada? What if all of our suppliers adopted that position?

You would think from listening to some politicians that the big oil companies’ agenda is the solution to record high gas prices. That defies common sense when the U.S. is exporting 1.4 million barrels every day to other countries.

That’s just rubbish. He needs someone on his staff to do a bit of investigating before he makes uninformed statements like this. First off, here are the numbers from the EIA on exports from the U.S. of petroleum and petroleum products. What is the #1 destination for these exports? Mexico, one of our largest suppliers of crude oil. #2? Canada, our largest supplier of oil. And what are we sending them? Here, again, is the breakdown. The #1 product that we are supplying? Petroleum coke. #2? Residual fuel oil.

Less than 10% of what is exported is gasoline, and less than 2% is crude oil. Is that the picture Tester painted? Of course not. He has us exporting over a million barrels of crude oil to China so big oil can get rich. This is the Tester that I found so annoying during the campaign. Is he badly misinformed, or just playing political games?

Of course one might ask why we would export any petroleum products to other countries. That’s quite easy. If you are a refiner in Montana or Texas, and your product pipelines are full – or your orders are otherwise filled – you may sell some across the border to Canada or Mexico. Or, your petroleum coke that you might not be able to find a home for (and which you are selling at a loss) ends up going out of the country. Or you have some material that doesn’t meet U.S. specs, but it does meet the specs of some other country. When I was at the refinery, I remember we got in a shipment of butane. It did not meet one of our specs, but it did meet Mexico’s, so we sent it south. It had originated in Canada, came to Montana, and ended up in Mexico. It was counted as an export.

Further, I think if we adopted the position that we won’t sell to Canada or Mexico (which may be prohibited by NAFTA anyway) then we might have trouble convincing them to provide oil to us. This would be a problem, since those two countries provide more than three times the amount of oil to us as the amount of exports Tester is complaining about.

The irony then in Tester’s e-mail is that he felt compelled to write:

Some on the other side of the aisle are not shooting straight with Montanans.

And

It’s a shame partisan politics gets in the way of common sense.

I guess we can be thankful that Senator Tester is above all of that.

August 8, 2008 Posted by | energy policy, jon tester, oil exports, oil imports, politics | 7 Comments

Energy Export Databrowser

Jonathan Callahan, a Ph.D. chemist who spent 12 years working for NOAA, has created a very useful databrowser for exploring the supply/demand situation in various countries around the world. Based on BP’s 2007 Statistical Review, it provides a quick and easy way to see the trends for whether countries are consuming or producing, importing or exporting crude oil and natural gas. The tool may be found at Energy Export Databrowser.

How useful is this tool? It took me about 5 seconds to pull up the following graphic for crude oil trends in the U.S.:

The databrowser contains over 80 countries. The strength of the tool is that it groups a lot of valuable information in one place, and makes it easily accessible. So, the next time someone asks you how much oil Gabon produces, in about 15 seconds you can tell them that Gabon produces a little over 200,000 bbl/day, down 0.2% from the previous year – and that it looks like their production has peaked.

Jonathan informs me that he is looking for constructive feedback so he can make the tool even better. He said he will monitor comments, but can also be reached at mazamascience “at” gmail “dot” com.

June 11, 2008 Posted by | natural gas, oil consumption, oil exports, oil imports, oil production | 16 Comments

Energy Export Databrowser

Jonathan Callahan, a Ph.D. chemist who spent 12 years working for NOAA, has created a very useful databrowser for exploring the supply/demand situation in various countries around the world. Based on BP’s 2007 Statistical Review, it provides a quick and easy way to see the trends for whether countries are consuming or producing, importing or exporting crude oil and natural gas. The tool may be found at Energy Export Databrowser.

How useful is this tool? It took me about 5 seconds to pull up the following graphic for crude oil trends in the U.S.:

The databrowser contains over 80 countries. The strength of the tool is that it groups a lot of valuable information in one place, and makes it easily accessible. So, the next time someone asks you how much oil Gabon produces, in about 15 seconds you can tell them that Gabon produces a little over 200,000 bbl/day, down 0.2% from the previous year – and that it looks like their production has peaked.

Jonathan informs me that he is looking for constructive feedback so he can make the tool even better. He said he will monitor comments, but can also be reached at mazamascience “at” gmail “dot” com.

June 11, 2008 Posted by | natural gas, oil consumption, oil exports, oil imports, oil production | Comments Off

Energy Export Databrowser

Jonathan Callahan, a Ph.D. chemist who spent 12 years working for NOAA, has created a very useful databrowser for exploring the supply/demand situation in various countries around the world. Based on BP’s 2007 Statistical Review, it provides a quick and easy way to see the trends for whether countries are consuming or producing, importing or exporting crude oil and natural gas. The tool may be found at Energy Export Databrowser.

How useful is this tool? It took me about 5 seconds to pull up the following graphic for crude oil trends in the U.S.:

The databrowser contains over 80 countries. The strength of the tool is that it groups a lot of valuable information in one place, and makes it easily accessible. So, the next time someone asks you how much oil Gabon produces, in about 15 seconds you can tell them that Gabon produces a little over 200,000 bbl/day, down 0.2% from the previous year – and that it looks like their production has peaked.

Jonathan informs me that he is looking for constructive feedback so he can make the tool even better. He said he will monitor comments, but can also be reached at mazamascience “at” gmail “dot” com.

June 11, 2008 Posted by | natural gas, oil consumption, oil exports, oil imports, oil production | 17 Comments

Why Oil Prices Aren’t Going Down

I kept expecting a pull-back in prices at $90/bbl, then $100, then just watched as prices kept climbing to today’s level of $118. While I won’t be surprised if we do see a short-term correction, in the longer-term I suspect we will be going much higher. Why? Here is part of the reason:

Emerging Market Oil Use Exceeds U.S. as Prices Rise

April 21 (Bloomberg) — Traffic jams in Beijing and humming air conditioners in Dubai are replacing U.S. highways and suburbs as the driver of global oil prices.

China, India, Russia and the Middle East for the first time will consume more crude oil than the U.S., burning 20.67 million barrels a day this year, an increase of 4.4 percent, according to the International Energy Agency in Paris. U.S. demand will contract 2 percent to 20.38 million barrels daily, the IEA says.

“The U.S. recession will be a footnote as far as the oil market is concerned,” says Jeffrey Rubin, chief economist at CIBC World Markets Inc. in Toronto, who has correctly forecast higher oil prices since 2000. “Supply isn’t growing and demand is growing robustly in the developing world.”

“The predominant market view is that the emerging economies will overcompensate for any possible demand slump in OECD countries,” said Eugen Weinberg, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “I couldn’t rule out that oil may go to $150.”

I see no relief in sight. Oil producing countries are growing their consumption at a very rapid clip. With oil prices where they are, money is flowing into the economies of oil exporters. As this happens, people are more prosperous. As people are more prosperous, they use more energy.

While I have sharply disagreed with oil geologist Jeffrey Brown (aka Westexas at The Oil Drum) over his analysis of Saudia Arabia, I think he had an important insight with his Export Land Model (ELM). This model essentially says that prosperous oil-producing countries will cannibalize their own production as the money flows in, leading to falling exports. Of course you can’t extrapolate this down to zero exports, or the money stops flowing in. But rising prices can compensate for falling exports to a large degree.

April 22, 2008 Posted by | oil exports, oil prices | 3 Comments

Why Oil Prices Aren’t Going Down

I kept expecting a pull-back in prices at $90/bbl, then $100, then just watched as prices kept climbing to today’s level of $118. While I won’t be surprised if we do see a short-term correction, in the longer-term I suspect we will be going much higher. Why? Here is part of the reason:

Emerging Market Oil Use Exceeds U.S. as Prices Rise

April 21 (Bloomberg) — Traffic jams in Beijing and humming air conditioners in Dubai are replacing U.S. highways and suburbs as the driver of global oil prices.

China, India, Russia and the Middle East for the first time will consume more crude oil than the U.S., burning 20.67 million barrels a day this year, an increase of 4.4 percent, according to the International Energy Agency in Paris. U.S. demand will contract 2 percent to 20.38 million barrels daily, the IEA says.

“The U.S. recession will be a footnote as far as the oil market is concerned,” says Jeffrey Rubin, chief economist at CIBC World Markets Inc. in Toronto, who has correctly forecast higher oil prices since 2000. “Supply isn’t growing and demand is growing robustly in the developing world.”

“The predominant market view is that the emerging economies will overcompensate for any possible demand slump in OECD countries,” said Eugen Weinberg, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “I couldn’t rule out that oil may go to $150.”

I see no relief in sight. Oil producing countries are growing their consumption at a very rapid clip. With oil prices where they are, money is flowing into the economies of oil exporters. As this happens, people are more prosperous. As people are more prosperous, they use more energy.

While I have sharply disagreed with oil geologist Jeffrey Brown (aka Westexas at The Oil Drum) over his analysis of Saudia Arabia, I think he had an important insight with his Export Land Model (ELM). This model essentially says that prosperous oil-producing countries will cannibalize their own production as the money flows in, leading to falling exports. Of course you can’t extrapolate this down to zero exports, or the money stops flowing in. But rising prices can compensate for falling exports to a large degree.

April 22, 2008 Posted by | oil exports, oil prices | 62 Comments

Why Oil Prices Aren’t Going Down

I kept expecting a pull-back in prices at $90/bbl, then $100, then just watched as prices kept climbing to today’s level of $118. While I won’t be surprised if we do see a short-term correction, in the longer-term I suspect we will be going much higher. Why? Here is part of the reason:

Emerging Market Oil Use Exceeds U.S. as Prices Rise

April 21 (Bloomberg) — Traffic jams in Beijing and humming air conditioners in Dubai are replacing U.S. highways and suburbs as the driver of global oil prices.

China, India, Russia and the Middle East for the first time will consume more crude oil than the U.S., burning 20.67 million barrels a day this year, an increase of 4.4 percent, according to the International Energy Agency in Paris. U.S. demand will contract 2 percent to 20.38 million barrels daily, the IEA says.

“The U.S. recession will be a footnote as far as the oil market is concerned,” says Jeffrey Rubin, chief economist at CIBC World Markets Inc. in Toronto, who has correctly forecast higher oil prices since 2000. “Supply isn’t growing and demand is growing robustly in the developing world.”

“The predominant market view is that the emerging economies will overcompensate for any possible demand slump in OECD countries,” said Eugen Weinberg, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “I couldn’t rule out that oil may go to $150.”

I see no relief in sight. Oil producing countries are growing their consumption at a very rapid clip. With oil prices where they are, money is flowing into the economies of oil exporters. As this happens, people are more prosperous. As people are more prosperous, they use more energy.

While I have sharply disagreed with oil geologist Jeffrey Brown (aka Westexas at The Oil Drum) over his analysis of Saudia Arabia, I think he had an important insight with his Export Land Model (ELM). This model essentially says that prosperous oil-producing countries will cannibalize their own production as the money flows in, leading to falling exports. Of course you can’t extrapolate this down to zero exports, or the money stops flowing in. But rising prices can compensate for falling exports to a large degree.

April 22, 2008 Posted by | oil exports, oil prices | 1 Comment

Why Oil Prices Aren’t Going Down

I kept expecting a pull-back in prices at $90/bbl, then $100, then just watched as prices kept climbing to today’s level of $118. While I won’t be surprised if we do see a short-term correction, in the longer-term I suspect we will be going much higher. Why? Here is part of the reason:

Emerging Market Oil Use Exceeds U.S. as Prices Rise

April 21 (Bloomberg) — Traffic jams in Beijing and humming air conditioners in Dubai are replacing U.S. highways and suburbs as the driver of global oil prices.

China, India, Russia and the Middle East for the first time will consume more crude oil than the U.S., burning 20.67 million barrels a day this year, an increase of 4.4 percent, according to the International Energy Agency in Paris. U.S. demand will contract 2 percent to 20.38 million barrels daily, the IEA says.

“The U.S. recession will be a footnote as far as the oil market is concerned,” says Jeffrey Rubin, chief economist at CIBC World Markets Inc. in Toronto, who has correctly forecast higher oil prices since 2000. “Supply isn’t growing and demand is growing robustly in the developing world.”

“The predominant market view is that the emerging economies will overcompensate for any possible demand slump in OECD countries,” said Eugen Weinberg, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “I couldn’t rule out that oil may go to $150.”

I see no relief in sight. Oil producing countries are growing their consumption at a very rapid clip. With oil prices where they are, money is flowing into the economies of oil exporters. As this happens, people are more prosperous. As people are more prosperous, they use more energy.

While I have sharply disagreed with oil geologist Jeffrey Brown (aka Westexas at The Oil Drum) over his analysis of Saudia Arabia, I think he had an important insight with his Export Land Model (ELM). This model essentially says that prosperous oil-producing countries will cannibalize their own production as the money flows in, leading to falling exports. Of course you can’t extrapolate this down to zero exports, or the money stops flowing in. But rising prices can compensate for falling exports to a large degree.

April 22, 2008 Posted by | oil exports, oil prices | 2 Comments

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