The top five exporters of crude oil to the United States are Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Nigeria. In August 2010 they constituted 63 percent of all imports to the United States. Four of these five countries have problems that could affect U.S. oil imports.
Canada is the only country with long-term social and economic stability and large proven reserves (an estimated 179 billion barrels in 2007). This post summarizes Mexican oil export dependability issues. Subsequent posts discuss the other top oil exporting countries and business development issues.
Two principal problems that may affect the United States are internal instability due to massive carnage from the drug cartel wars and declining oil production. From December 2006 to February 2011, the total number killed in Mexico was 35,614. The case for declining oil production is illustrated in the following graph and shows that Mexican oil production peaked in 2003 and has been decreasing since that time.Canada, Declining Production, Mexico, Oil Exports