Richard T. Stuebi, BP Fellow for Energy and Environmental Advancement at The Cleveland Foundation, has a top 10 list of energy facts.
Top Ten List of Energy Facts:
1. World oil production (which is essentially equal to consumption) is at approximately 85 million barrels per day, or 31 billion barrels per year — and has essentially remained at these levels continuously since mid-2005, even though oil prices have doubled (from about $60/barrel) since then.
2. The U.S. consumes about 25% of the world’s annual oil production, implying U.S. demand levels of about 21 million barrels/day (almost 8 billion barrels per year), but holds under its territory only about 2% of the world’s proven oil reserves of 1.2 trillion barrels.
3. In contrast, the Oil Producing and Exporting Countries (OPEC) control almost 80% of the world’s oil reserves, yet produce only about 40% of annual oil supplies.
4. OPEC production was 31 million barrels/day in 1973, and 32 million barrels/day in 2007, despite the world economy having doubled in the intervening years.
5. OPEC includes among its members the following countries that are unstable, corrupt and/or unfriendly to the U.S.: Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, Nigeria.
6. The Middle Eastern members of OPEC represent over 75% of total OPEC capacity, of which the single largest player (without which the world oil markets would collapse) is Saudi Arabia, alone accounting for 22% of the world’s remaining proven oil reserves.
7. This year, the U.S. will send an estimated $700 billion to the Middle East to purchase oil — more than the U.S. defense budget (about $600 billion).
8. An unknown portion of these proceeds, but widely-agreed to be a significant amount, funds anti-American (and anti-women, and anti-Semitic, and anti-homosexual, and so on) sentiment — including outright terrorist activities.
9. About 99% of the energy consumed by the U.S. transportation sector derives from petroleum.
10. The vast majority of American citizens live and work in a manner requires oil-fueled transportation to maintain their basic lifestyles (commuting, shopping, etc.)