article about U.S. oil imports and relationship to Middle East.
Saudi Oil Why We Don't Need It
Larry N Trickett © Copyright 2011
Throughout my life time there were times when problems would arise within the Middle East, and the first thing everyone became concerned with was the possible loss of oil imports from Saudi Arabia.
Concerned that the Egyptian revolution could spread to other countries in the Middle East, many Americans first thoughts are the loss of the badly needed oil our nation uses so much of.
But how badly do we need Saudi oil?
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (Independent Statistics and Analysis) the total oil imports to the United States in thousands of barrels from the Persian Gulf was 49,518. Of that amount Saudi Arabia provided 34,222, or 69% of the oil. But that’s U.S. imports from the Persian Gulf only.
The total amount imported from all of the OPEC countries was 135,508 and of that Saudi Arabia provided only 25%. Twenty five percent is indeed a large sum of oil, but we do not get all of our imports from OPEC.
From the non OPEC oil producing countries we imported 197,126, and the OPEC countries provided 135,508 for a total of 332,634 (in thousands of barrels)and of that total Saudi Arabia provides 34,222 or just 10%.
Add to this the fact that the United States has over two hundred years of oil reserves, and the oil production in Saudi Arabia looks less and less important.
Considering the fact that there are 11 OPEC countries and 112 non OPEC countries that supply America’s oil I can’t see where the Middle East oil is of that much importance to America. In fact it looks to me as though Saudi Arabia needs us much more than we need them especially when you consider the fact that over 95% percent of their total exports are in oil. By increasing imports from other nations only moderately, the Middle East becomes expendable.
There are many other considerations that must be reviewed in a relationship with other countries such as geopolitical and military, but in today’s world with modern satellites and communications for Intelligence gathering and analysis, and the nature of modern warfare, many countries no longer have the value they once did.
Whatever happens in the Middle East, the United States will still continue to benefit from oil imports.
Energy Information data source