June 19, 2010

Just the facts on oil please! (updated 6-23-10)

Following President Obama's address to the nation this week, Factcheck.org clarified some of the President's remarks. This group (from the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center) are my trusted source for "just the facts" in addition to http://www.snopes.com/
  • Net oil imports for the U.S. in March were 9,480,000 barrels per day and the average cost per barrel was $75. Total cost: $711 million per day. Not a billion, but still a hefty amount!
  • According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), world petroleum production averaged 84,158,559 barrels per day in 2009. And U.S. petroleum consumption averaged 18,686,223 barrels per day. So we use 22.2 percent of the world's daily oil production. 
  • Obama was correct about our low percentage of the world’s oil reserves. The EIA stated that the U.S. has 21.317 billion barrels of "proved reserves" while the global total is 1,342.207 billion barrels. That figures to just under 1.6 percent.
  • The six-month deepwater drilling moratorium only applied to new permits for deepwater drilling, and halted 33 exploratory drilling projects, but did not affect roduction from existing deepwater well platforms. So why are we hearing loud complaints from gulf coast oil industry workers who complain that they can't survive a six-month moratorium? A Department of Interior press release on June 8 explained that “shallow water drilling operations and production activity in both deep and shallow waters are not under a moratorium and will continue, provided they are in compliance with the new safety requirements."  [6-23-10 comments: After a federal judge yesterday blocked this moratorium, Interior Secretary Salazar announced today that he'll issue a NEW moratorium asap "based on new information." Hmmm. Could it be that the federal judge had a conflict of interest? This saga continues! Will jobs trump the environment?]
More oil facts & figures:
  • Virginia's potential offshore supply of oil (according to Minerals Managment Service) is 130 million barrels--about seven days of U.S. 20 billion barrel per day use
  • The oil industry is using about 18-20 percent of the leases it already has access to.
  • Worldwide deepwater oil production will increase by two-thirds within the next five years, according to Cambridge Energy Research Associates. That's as much crude oil as Saudi Arabia already produces. So we're tracking in the wrong direction if clean energy is indeed our goal.