U.S. Energy Consumption Breakdown

What percentage of oil is used for personal transportation in the U.S.? And what percentage of energy consumption in the U.S. is oil?

According to a NYTimes article published today (July 6, 2008) American Energy Policy, Asleep at the Spigot:

From bits and pieces that I’ve picked up in threads here on the SDMB, I was under the impression that it was much less. Now, it’s entirely possible, if not likely, that I am/was thinking of the percentage of U.S. energy consumption that comes from oil specifically (as opposed to coal, natural gas, etc.). However, looking at the tables (warning: .pdf file) from the Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook report (Tables A2 and A7, specifically), the numbers aren’t adding up (although that may be due to my own ineptitude).

Can anyone supply some numbers and/or a better citation (preferably, one with summarized items)?

The EIA is the best source of info on energy use in the US, although it can take some wading through all the data to find what you need. The Annual Energy Review is a better source of big-picture data than the Annual Energy Outlook, and has the data in html or Excel formats so that you don’t have to download the pdf and look through all the tables to get what you want. The AEO also has the tables in Excel format in case you want to do additional analyses on your own. Fun!

The 21 million barrels a day is a solid number. In units of energy rather than volume, US petroleum consumption was 39.8 quadrillion Btu (39.8x10^15 Btu, or 39.8 Quads). That was just over 39% of total US energy use in 2007.

It’s a bit harder to find numbers on “individual” use. It’s pretty easy to get total numbers for gasoline and on-road diesel fuel, but that will include commercial and industrial vehicles, off-road use like boats, lawn and garden equipment, fuel for bonfires, and other miscellaneous uses. If you just look at the total numbers (from here), the breakdown is 20.7 million barrels of petroleum per day (2007), 9.29 million barrels of “Finished Motor Gasoline”, and 2.95 million barrels of low sulfur (<15 ppm) diesel fuel. That’s about 60% of the total petroleum consumption, on a volume basis. There is additional petroleum used in railroads, aircraft, and lubricants, so you could compare the 9.29 million bpd gasoline plus 4.22 million bpd distillate fuel plus 1.62 million bpd jet fuel to get about 73% of total petroleum use.

So their numbers are pretty good, as far as I can tell.

Thanks, Public Animal No. 9. Your second link is bad, but following the first one brought me to the U.S. Primary Energy Consumption by Source and Sector, 2007 page. Easy to read diagram!

Oops. It should be here (an extraneous character or two messed it up).