U.S. Oil Status: “Good” and Bad News22 Feb

“Good” News

The table below summarizes U.S. crude oil production and imports for 2010 and 2012. Notice that imports decreased by nearly 7 percent, while oil production ramped up by almost 28 percent during that 2-year interval.

It is noteworthy that the sum of imports and production increased by about 5 percent. Thus, no oil conservation occurred, a regrettable fact for a non-renewable resource.

The ratio of imports/total oil consumption decreased by 7 percent from 65 percent to 57 percent. Nevertheless, U.S. dependency on crude oil imports is about 60 percent.

The numbers in each cell block are billions of barrels of oil. They are the result of taking an average for each year in 2010 and 2012. Essentially, the United States consumes more than 5 billion barrels of oil annually, an unsustainable level for the long term, maybe even the intermediate period.

U.S. Oil Summary Statistics for 2010 and 2012

U.S. Oil



Percent change

* Imports




* Production




* Total








Bad News

The graph below is a typical theoretical oil production curve for multiple oil fields. Notice the initial rise in production that reaches a plateau, followed by an inevitable decline. There are many oil fields throughout the world that display this rise and decline behavior.

  • Why should the Bakken field in North Dakota behave any differently than numerous other oil fields?
  • When the Bakken field becomes uneconomical to produce, where is the next such field to prop up our insatiable oil consumption for ever expanding economic growth?
  • What happens when there are no more Bakkens?

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About Dr. Everson

Prior to forming this SBIR consultant practice, Dr. Jeffrey Everson was director of business development for QinetiQ North America’s Technology Solutions Group (previously Foster-Miller, Inc.).

Dr. Everson has won and been the principal investigator for several SBIR programs, including a Phase I program for NASA, a Phase I project for the U.S. Air Force, and Phase I and II contracts from the U.S. Department of Transportation. For the Phase II program, he received a Tibbetts Award for exemplifying the best in SBIR achievement.

Previously Dr. Everson held senior scientist positions at Battelle Memorial Institute, The Analytic Sciences Corporation (TASC), Honeywell Electro Optics Systems Division, and Itek Optical Systems Division.

He holds a PhD in physics from Boston College and a MS/BS in physics from Northeastern University.


For more information about how JHEverson Consulting can help your company with its SBIR and STTR proposals, please contact Jeff Everson.

JHEverson Consulting is based in the Boston area but consults for clients throughout North America. It also is supported by affiliated consultants.