The US and Oil

Can anyone recommend a good source for statistics on petrolium consumption in the US? In particular, I’m looking for stats on average annual/daily consumption, pricing, fuel efficiency of SUVs and other consumer vehicles, and information on the distribution of oil consumed. Information on reserve oil would probably be useful too.

Basically, I’m trying to figure out how much we could reduce the need for foreign oil (or any oil, eventually) through a rigorous plan coördinating expansion of domestic oil production, tightening of fuel efficiency of consumer cars, and a significant push towards alternate fuels such as fuel cells. (When I say significant, I mean not quite on the level of the space race.)


The official US Government site.

The EIA is a good site, but you will have to do some searching and collating to get the info you need. But it is all there.

Just remember, before you start, that according to the EIA, only about 1% of US electricity production in 2002 came from petroleum. And a lot of that was only in use as a start-up fuel for coal plants.

(Just had to throw that in, because I hate it when people say that petroleum is used for a substantial amount of electricity production…)

Increases in fuel efficiency may not lead to a reduction of oil use at the level of the whole economy. The improvements in efficiency may lead to lower prices, which in turn stimulate larger demand. This is called the ‘rebound effect’ or Jevons paradox. eg cheaper fuel leads to bigger cars driving further. This is currently the subject of scientific and policy debate.

And for balance to my earlier site cite

Thanks for the sites. I went to the Department of Energy website, but I think I missed something when I checked their statistics; the .pdf I was looking at said that the US consumes about 9 million barrels of oil per day, but in a recent speech on hydrogen fuel, Bush spoke of reducing consumption by 11 million barrels per day. Doesn’t quite add up to me. What am I missing?

The U.S. uses 18-19 MMBOPD. About 45% is domestically produced, and the rest is imported.

The EIA site is good, but as noted, finding what you want can take a while. Also check out the API website for lots of informative stuff.