U.S. Oil Reserves Counterpoint


The question is what are the facts concerning the present U.S. oil reserves? What are we as a nation able to produce? What are the present U.S. proven oil reserves, and the annual usage? Can the U.S. proven oil reserves be increased?


Since writing this article the economy has changed. Read this article about “Low oil prices force oil drills to a halt.

The U.S. proven oil reserves is a little less than 21 billion barrels in 2006 according to the Energy Information Agency (EIA). U.S. crude production peaked in 1970 at 9.6 million barrels per day, and had declined to 5.1 million barrels per day by 2006. This represents about an 11year supply of oil reserves at current rates of production. United States crude oil production has been declining. Over 2.3 million wells having been drilled in the U.S. since 1949, and oil consumption is nearly four times as high as oil production. A May 2008 assessment by the EIA estimated a massive oil deposit could increase U.S. reserves by 10 fold and potential cumulative production of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to be a maximum of 4.3 billion barrels from 2018 to 2030. This estimate is a best-case scenario of technically recoverable oil during the area’s primary production years if legislation were passed in 2008 to allow drilling. Expected oil rich basins are unexplored and undeveloped. The social, environmental, and economic aspects of development will be challenging.


The United States maintains a Strategic Oil Reserve at four sites in the Gulf of Mexico, with a total capacity of 727 million barrels of crude oil.


U.S. Petroleum Basic Statistics (2007):

U.S. petroleum consumption                                                   20,680,000 barrels/day

U.S. motor gasoline consumption                                             9,286,000 barrels/day

U.S. crude oil production                                                          5,064,000 barrels/day

State ranking (Texas) of crude oil production                         1,087,000 barrels/day

U.S. crude oil imports (5,980,000 barrels/day from OPEC) 10,031,000 barrels/day

Number of U.S. operable petroleum refineries                                                     150

U.S. proven oil reserves                                                            20,972,000 barrels


According to the EIA, oil production in the U.S. comes mainly from Texas (25% from shore and offshore), Alaska (24% onshore), California (21% shore), and Louisiana (14% from onshore and offshore).


According to the EIA, the main suppliers of oil to the U.S. at this time are; Canada (1.68 million barrels per day), Saudi Arabia (1.49 million barrels per day), Venezuela (1.46 million barrels per day), and Mexico (1.35 million barrels per day). 


What is running low is oil in fields that have already been tapped and are in production — in other words, the relatively easy-to-get stuff, which oil companies have proven exists and can get at with current technology. Those reserves are clearly being drained. It is from this same tapped and leased land of the present Democratic Congress provision requiring oil and gas companies to develop on already leased lands before obtaining new leases would curb future U.S. production. Besides taking time to dig more wells, it would only deplete the existing U.S. oil fields quicker, leaving the U.S. more dependent on foreign oil.


A point that is not commonly pointed out, despite the U.S. being “the world’s largest importer of oil and refined products, the U.S. also exports fossil fuels. As of March, the latest data available, U.S. oil refiners were exporting more than 1.8 million barrels a day of crude oil, gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other refined products. The top five destinations for U.S. fuel were Mexico, Canada, the Netherlands, Chile and Singapore.” “What this proves is that the market for oil and fuel is global, it doesn’t matter where it came from. What matters is where the seller can get the best price. This proves that a quick short time fix of rearranging the existing oil reserves will probably have little effect in reduction of oil price.”


Of interest are the candidate’s views on technological issues: Energy, Climate change, Space program, skilled worker shortage, and technology.


From the facts, the proven U.S. oil fields and the global oil market are declining. Unless something happens the cost of oil will continue to rise. Since the U.S. must start to lead, maybe it is time to allow the offshore oil drilling or drilling at the Bakken Formation in North Dakota. More oil at the present time is not necessarily the answer; it is how to control the oil.

Global Warming and Energy Reserves Counterpoint?

The science is clear, “climate change is happening, and it is linked directly to human activities that emit greenhouse gases”. A number of technological options exist to avert dangerous climatic change by dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions both now and into the future. Business Solutions, International Action, State Action, and Local Action describe how business and government leaders at all levels have recognized both the challenge and the vast opportunity climate change presents. These leaders are responding with a broad spectrum of innovative solutions: Dell moves up the timeline, and South Africa has a way to make oil from coal.

Scientific evidence paints a clear picture, and it will have many serious and potentially damaging effects in the decades ahead. Scientists have confirmed that the earth is warming, and “those greenhouse gas emissions from cars, power plants and other manmade sources—rather than natural variations in climate—are the primary cause”.

“Evidence of CO2 and other greenhouse gases can be seen from the following observable impacts”:

  1. Polar ice is melting
  2. Glaciers around the globe are in retreat
  3. Storms are increasing in intensity
  4. Ecosystems around the world already are reacting\
  5. Plant and animal species struggle to adapt to shifting climate
  6. New climate-related threats emerge

A report states 2004 U.S. greenhouse emissions of CO2 equivalent million metric tons are:

  1. Electric generation-2338 (32%)
  2. Transportation-1995 (28%)
  3. Industry-1377 (20%)
  4. Agriculture-491 (7%)
  5. Commercial-460 (7%)
  6. Residential-391 (6%)

The same report states achieving the necessary total reductions will require a combination of strategies:

  1. Producing cars with higher gas mileage
  2. Displace coal power with other means (wind, water, light)
  3. Build with nuclear power
  4. Decrease car travel per year
  5. Capture and store carbon emissions
  6. Improve energy efficiency buildings and appliances
  7. Increase ethanol output

However, it is estimated in the report that increased CO2, with the increased energy requirements of the world’s developed nations, by 2030 are:

  1. U.S. 60%
  2. China 120%
  3. India 100%
  4. Europe 20%

All other developing nations are expected to surpass those of the developed nations. This means that the increasing energy requirements are occurring at a faster rate than the total reductions that are deemed necessary.

It has been estimated that there is enough energy reserves accessible, using current mining technology, to provide the following for the entire planet:

  1. Oil-57 years
  2. Coal-67 years
  3. Natural gas-167 years

It has been reported in “An Inconvenient Truth” that if we do nothing concerning Global Warming, in about 10 years the planet may reach a “tipping point” and begin a slide toward destruction of our civilization, and most of the species on the planet. After that point is reached, it would be too late for any action: a dire prediction.

The estimated energy reserves leaves only about 150 years until the planet runs out of electric generation, transportation, and industry as we now know it, for our heating and air conditioning, travel, and work conveniences we now take for grant it: a dire prediction, but a limit to activities that emit greenhouse gases.

Scientists, engineers, professors, politicians, and a few magazines are now questioning what is being stated in the media about global warming or cooling, and the energy reserve predictions. Refer to the listed article and a start to the people giving facts:


  1.  Global Warming the Cold Hard Facts?-Timothy Bell
  2. Design News-Charles J. Murray
  3. Newsweek-Robert J Samuelson
  4. Yuri A. Israel- Vice President (IPCC)
  5. Michael Crichton- the scientist, writer and filmmaker
  6. Richard Lindzin- an atmospheric physicist and a professor of meteorology at MIT
  7. Thomas Kuhn- book author of “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.”
  8. Bob Carter- a paleoclimate geologist from James Cook University in Australia
  9. Borris Winterhalter-marine researcher at Geological Survey of Finland
  10. Wibjorn Karlen-Emeritus Professor, Stockholm University
  11. James Inhofe-Senator
  12. See “Global Weather Predictions Counterpoint” article
  13. See “Global Weather Facts Counterpoint” article

Of interest are the candidate’s views on technological issues: Energy, Climate change, Space program, skilled worker shortage, and technology.