The ExxonMobil website notes that proved U.S. crude oil reserves have risen from 22.3 billion barrels in 2009 to 25.2 billion barrels in 2010, an increase of 13 percent. This increase in oil reserves is primarily attributable to advancements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, particularly in the Bakken reservoir formation in Montana and North Dakota. While this increase is encouraging, it should be kept in perspective with the following points in mind.
The United States produces 5,659,000 barrels of crude oil and imports 8,921,000 barrels of crude oil, each per day. Thus, the United States crude oil imports are 61 percent of its total crude oil consumption. The total annual U.S. crude oil consumption is 5.32 billions barrels. If the United States were solely dependent on its own crude oil, then its reserve of crude oil would last 4.74 years (i.e., 25.2/5.32). Additional perspective can be gained by comparing the U.S. crude oil reserve with that of other countries:
Country Proved Reserves (billion barrels)
Saudi Arabia 262.6
United Arab Emirates 97.0
United States 25.2
United Kingdom 2.9
It is totally disingenuous on the part of ExxonMobil to claim that a slight increase in U.S. crude oil reserves is any more than “a drop in the bucket” compared to crude oil reserves of several other countries. Notice that Norway, the UK and Mexico have dwindling supplies of crude oil. Syria has practically no oil compared to Libya. Thus, one suspects that oil was part of the reason for invading Libya, in contrast to not supporting the rebel forces in Syria. In a global market, a total loss of Syrian oil would be insignificant compared with a complete loss of Libyan oil.Tags: Bakken, Crude Oil Reserves, ExxonMobil, Iran, Iranian Oil, Iraq, Iraqi oil, Israel, Libyan Oil, Mexico, Norway, Proved Reserves, Saudi Arabia, Syria, U.S. Proved Oil Reserves, United Kingdom