The graph below displays a close correlation between growth in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and oil demand growth from 1971 until 2007. There is every reason to believe that the correlation established during this 36-year period will continue into the future.
There is a high degree of correlation between increase in number of workers and growth in oil consumption as indicated in the graph below from 1981 until 2010. The degree of correlation is evidenced by the high value of the coefficient of determination at 0.93.
The high degree of correlation between oil, the GDP, as well as oil and expanding worker population makes sense. For example, 72 percent of oil is consumed by transportation needs, while 25 percent serves as feedstock for products (e.g., fertilizers, plastics and roadway pavement materials).
Based on 2010 data from the Energy Information Administration (EIS), the United States produced 2 billion barrels of crude oil and imported 3 billion barrels. That means imported oil accounted for 60 percent of the oil consumed. In the future more imported crude oil will be required because U.S. crude oil reserves are all declining. This includes the lower 48-states, the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska.
Until the United States can uncouple its GDP and worker population from imported crude oil, the economy of this country will be reliant on crude oil exports from many nations, some of whom wish us ill.
Note: There are 11 government agencies that support the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Solicitations from these agencies are published several times during the year and contain dozens of problem topics. For example, many topics from the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Energy (DOE) have a keen interest in energy efficiency and renewable energy, some of which may overlap the issues raised in this post. Small businesses, sometimes teamed with universities, may submit proposals in response to these topics and possibly receive awards for technology/process development.Tags: Alaskan Oil Production, Gross Domestic Product, Gulf of Mexico Oil Production, Imported OIl, Lower 48 States Oil Production, SBIR, STTR, U.S. Worker Population