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R&T: Son of Cheap Gas

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Got the latest issue of Road & Track... Dennis Simanaitis has a pretty interesting update to decade old article "Cheap Gas".

Our country is blessed with natural resources. However, for reasons that are corporately, economically and geopolitically sound, we leave some of these reserves untapped. The U.S. imports 57 percent of its total petroleum consumption, around 11 million bbl/day. Think a half-dozen supertankers arriving every 24 hours (though you'll soon be asked to revise this nautical image when I identify where these imports originate).

We are the energy piggies of the world, especially on a per capita basis. However, we're far from alone in terms of net petroleum importation. Japan, notoriously bereft of natural resources, depends on imports for all of its petroleum, about 5.4 million bbl/day. By contrast, China imports around 46 percent of its needs, and it can also be noted that this country recently replaced Japan as the world's second-largest importer of oil.

Our country's 11 million bbl/day still tops the list. However, as a whole the European Union imports more than we do, around 18 million bbl/day. What's more, EU countries are rather more distant from self-sufficiency than we are. Many actually import more petroleum than their own domestic consumption (two reasons for this being stockpiling and petro-related manufacturing). Germany, for instance, imports about 3 million bbl/day, about 13 percent more than she consumes; Italy, 2.2 million bbl/day, some 26 percent more than consumed.

Rest of article is here, packed with lots of tidbits about the current state of the oil industry.

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