US Conquest of the Taliban and its Quest for Hydrocarbons

 

Hydrocarbons scenario in the United States of America
(Please see Annexure 1 for details)

 

US Proved Reserves

 

According to the US Energy Information Administration Annual Report 2000, the US had 22.045 billion barrels of proven oil reserves as of January 1, 2001.  The US proven natural gas reserves are of the order of 177 trillion cubic feet (Tcf).  Although proven reserves have increased over 2000, they have declined by about 20 % since 1990, with the largest single decline of 1.6 billion barrels in 1991.  

 

US Hydrocarbon Production

 

During 2000, the US produced about 8.18 million barrels per day (BOPD) of which 5.83 million BOPD was crude oil and the rest natural gas and other liquids.  US oil production in 2000 was down sharply (around 2.5 million BOPD or 24 %) from the 10.6 million BOPD averaged in 1985.  The US produced 19.1 Tcf dry natural gas during 2000.  The US depends on natural gas for about 24 % of its total primary energy requirement, while oil accounts for 39 % and coal for 23 %. 

 

US Hydrocarbon Consumption

 

The US consumed 19.7 million BOPD in 2000 and its net oil imports were of the order of 11.8 million BOPD.  About 45 % of the crude oil imports came from OPEC nations.  The Canadian imports were mainly natural gas (net 3.35 Tcf).  The US consumed 22.7 Tcf of natural gas during 2000 and imported 3.73 Tcf. 

 

Overview of US proved reserves

 

Proved reserves of crude oil increased by 280 million barrels in 2000.  Total discoveries of crude oil were about 71 percent more than the prior 10-year average.  Most crude oil total discoveries in 2000 were from extensions to existing fields.  New field discoveries were of 276 million barrels.  New reservoir discoveries in old fields were 249 million barrels, 78 percent more than the prior 10-year average (140 million barrels).  While sales and acquisitions of crude oil proved reserves were both large, the net of sales and acquisitions of crude oil proved reserves was only a negative 20 million barrels. 

 

Dry natural gas proved reserves increased by 10,021 billion cubic feet in 2000.  U.S. total discoveries of dry gas reserves were 19,138 billion cubic feet in 2000. This was 75 percent more than the prior 10-year average.  Field extensions were 14,787 billion cubic feet, more than twice the prior 10-year average.  New field discoveries were 1,983 billion cubic feet.  New reservoir discoveries in old fields were 2,368 billion cubic feet, 1 percent more than the prior 10-year average.  Production of natural gas removed an estimated 19,219 billion cubic feet of proved reserves from the US total.  The net of sales and acquisitions of dry natural gas proved reserves was 4,031 billion cubic feet. 

 

US reserves changes since 1977

 

Since 1977, crude oil reserves have been primarily sustained by proved ultimate recovery appreciation in existing fields rather than the discovery of new oil fields.  Only 8 per cent of reserves additions since 1976 were from new field discoveries.  Like crude oil reserves, natural gas reserves have been sustained primarily by proved ultimate recovery appreciation since 1977.  Usually extensions rather than net revisions and adjustments are the largest component.

Reserves-to-Production Ratio

 

The relationship between proved reserves and production levels, expressed as the ratio of reserves to production (R/P ratio) is often used in analyses.  Proved reserves at the end of a year serve as a rough guide to the production level that can be maintained during the following year.  The U.S. R/P ratio for crude oil decreased from 11.1-to-1 to 9.4-to-1 between 1977 and 1982.  In 2000, U.S. crude oil proved reserves increased, while oil production decreased—resulting in an upward shift in the US average R/P ratio from 11.1 to 11.7.  After World War II, increased drilling and discoveries led to a greater R/P ratio (17).  Prior to 1945, R/P ratios for wet natural gas were very high (33) since the interstate pipeline infrastructure was not well developed.  The U.S. average R/P ratio for natural gas increased from 8.9 to 9.2 in 2000, as reserves increased 6 percent while production only 1.5 percent, 

 

Proved Ultimate Recovery

 

Proved Ultimate Recovery is the sum of proved reserves and cumulative production.  It is a gauge of how much has already been produced plus proved reserves.  In 1977, U.S. crude oil and condensate proved reserves were 33,615 million barrels.  Cumulative production of crude oil and lease condensate for 1977 through 2000 was 62,468 million barrels.  US estimated proved ultimate recovery of crude oil was fundamentally increased during this period owing to the proved ultimate recovery appreciation process (continued development of old fields). 

 

International Perspective

 

The world's total reserves are estimated to be roughly 1 trillion barrels of oil and 5.3 quadrillion cubic feet of gas.  The United States ranked 12th in the world for proved reserves of crude oil and 6th for natural gas in 2000.  A comparison of U.S. proved reserves estimates with worldwide estimates shows that the United States had about 2 percent of the world's total crude oil proved reserves and over 3 percent of the world's total natural gas proved reserves at the end of 2000.  Several foreign countries have oil reserves considerably larger than those of the United States (22045 million barrels).  Saudi Arabian oil reserves (about 263500 million barrels) are the largest in the world, dwarfing U.S. oil reserves.  Iraqi oil reserves are almost 5 times U.S. reserves.  Closer to the US, Venezuela has triple and Mexico has around 25 percent more than the United States' oil reserves. 

 

Petroleum Consumption

 

The United States was the world's largest energy consumer in 2000:

 

a.       The U.S. consumed 98,498,000,000,000,000 Btu of energy (98.5 quadrillion Btu).

b.      62 percent of U.S. energy consumption was provided by petroleum and natural gas. 

c.      U.S. petroleum consumption was about 19.7 million barrels of oil and natural gas liquids and 62.2 billion cubic feet of dry gas per day (22.7 Tcf). 

 

Dependence on Imports

 

The United States remains heavily dependent on imported oil and gas to satisfy its ever-increasing appetite for energy.  In 2000, crude oil imports made up 60 percent of the U.S. crude oil supply.  Net gas imports increased slightly in 2000 to 3.73 trillion cubic feet, which is approximately 16 percent of consumption.  A graph showing US petroleum production, consumption and imports from 1950 until 2000 is at Attachment.  It will be seen that, in spite of large discoveries, the imports have gone up to 60 % in 2000 from a near zero in 1950.  This trend will doubtless continue because the US is unlikely to find new reserves of hydrocarbons in larges quantities. 

Planning for the Future

 

Criticality of a Secure Access to Hydrocarbons

 

42% of the world's primary energy in 1999 was consumed to generate electricity.  This compares to oil's contribution to all non-electric end-uses of 39%; gas' contribution of 18%; and coal's contribution of a mere 1%.  Compare this with the use of 42 % of crude oil in the US for transportation purposes and 54 % of natural gas for industrial and power utility.  62 percent of U.S. energy consumption was provided by petroleum and natural gas.  Consider for a moment that the US is not able to have secure access to petroleum.  There will be universal chaos.  The US, nay the whole world, is heavily dependent on hydrocarbons.  There does not seem to be any substitute on the horizon that is economically viable and is a clean fuel such as natural gas. 

 

Importance of Long-term Planning

 

In the oil industry, there is substantial time lag between various phases of operations, e.g. acquisition of data to assess the occurrence of hydrocarbons, processing and interpretation of the data, exploratory drilling and appraisal drilling and then development of the oil or gas fields.  With greater finds of and hence dependence on natural gas as compared to crude oil, the time lag increases because of the need to lay long distance pipelines and to identify gas markets.  Depending on the prospectivity of the areas, the entire process to reach peak production could take anything between 10 to 25 years: the more difficult the area, the longer the timeframe and higher the costs.  All easy areas have already been explored for hydrocarbons.  Left are the geologically complex areas, deep-water locations and geographically hard sites.  Any prudent nation would, therefore, plan for its hydrocarbon requirements (until the reserves of the world last!) for the next 25 to 50 years.  This may sound utopian but is increasingly the need of the day because of the stagnant, if not dwindling, worldwide new reserves of hydrocarbons and with major concentrations of hydrocarbons in a few geographical areas such as the Middle East and Central Asian states. 

 

The Olduvai Theory

 

Richard C. Duncan, Ph. D has floated, what is known as the Olduvai Theory, at the Pardee Keynote Symposia of the Geological Society of America Summit 2000 at Reno, Nevada on November 13, 2000.  The Olduvai theory has been called unthinkable, preposterous, absurd, dangerous, self-fulfilling, and self-defeating.  The relevance of this theory to the topic under discussion is only in the fact that oil and in turn energy production per capita will fall to critical values in the next 25 to 30 years.  The US, as the globally unchallenged hegemonic power with its desire to continue to be so for a ‘while longer’, will certainly intervene to ensure that although the world may go without energy, not so the United States of America. 

 

World average oil production per capita (ô) grew exponentially from 1920 to 1973.  The average growth rate was near zero from 1973 to the all-time peak in 1979.  Then from its peak in 1979 to 1999, ô decreased strongly by an average of 1.20 %/year.  Oil is by far the major primary source of energy for transportation (i.e. about 95% of the oil produced in 1999 was used for transportation).  ô = O/(Pop) in barrels per capita per year (i.e. b/c/year) taking world oil production (O) and world population (Pop).  The theory predicts that world oil production will reach its all-time peak in 2006. Then from its peak in 2006 to year 2040 world oil production will fall by 58.8 % — an average decline of 2.45 %/year during these 34 years.  The hydrocarbon scenario in the US examined earlier in this paper supports this view. 

 

World energy production per capita from 1945 to 1973 grew at a speed of 3.45 %/year.  From 1973 to the all-time peak in 1979, it slowed to a sluggish 0.64 %/year. Then suddenly —and for the first time in history — energy production per capita took a long-term decline of 0.33 %/year from 1979 to 1999.  From 2000 to 2011, world energy production per capita will decrease by about 0.70 %/year.  The Olduvai Theory says that energy production per capita will fall to its 1930 value of 3.32 barrels of oil/year by 2030, thus giving Industrial Civilization a lifetime of less than or equal to 100 years: 1930-2030. 

 

Governments have lost respect. World organizations are ineffective. Neo-tribalism is rampant.  The population is over six billion and counting. Global warming and emerging viruses are headlines.  The reliability of electric power networks is falling.  And the instant the power goes out, you are back in the Dark Age.  The Olduvai theory deals neither with the geology or the paleontology of the Olduvai Gorge.  Nor is it prescriptive.  Rather, the theory simply attempts to explain the historic world energy production (and use) and population data in terms of overshoot and collapse.  Its relevance to the present day pulls in global strategy should not be lost sight of. 

 

US Strategic Interest in Central Asia

 

As in the Gulf War so in Afghanistan, oil is intertwined with US national strategy.  The oil rich Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have phenomenal oil resources of 65 to 80 billion barrels with proven reserves of 20 to 33 billion barrels.  “Bush's concealed agenda is to exploit the oil and gas reserves in the Caspian basin, the greatest source of untapped fossil fuel on earth and enough, according to one estimate, to meet America's voracious energy needs for a generation.  Only if the pipeline runs through Afghanistan can the Americans hope to control it” as John Pilger aptly put it. 

 

The aim of a strong military presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan with India and Pakistan on the same side is to fortify against the Chinese dragon and to thwart the growing ambitions of Russia, which the US keeps uppermost in its strategic planning.  If India does not ‘play up’ to American concerns, the US is prepared to walk the mile without India.  Pakistan will play up to American concerns so long as the US ignores Pakistan’s active support to cross-border terrorism in Kashmir.  And this is exactly what the US seems to be doing. 

 

The US strategy has caused profound concern in Russia, Iran and India, because of the fear that the US may retain a permanent military presence in Afghanistan.  In fact, the US is now actively engaged in getting a military foothold in Pakistan.  The reasons are two-fold.  There will be a backlash from Afghans in case the US overstays because they are wary of foreign presence, first the Russians and then Pakistan proxy – the Taliban.  In addition, there is a growing resentment in Saudi Arabia against US military presence there.  Again, US military presence in Pakistan serves two strategic aims: containment of China and Russia and ensuring a secure access to the Central Asian oil through Afghanistan to a port in Pakistan.  This will further ensure that Iran and Russia do not get to the Central Asian oil. 

 

Seed of War is Industrial and Commercial Rivalry

 

It was as early as in 1919, a year after the end of World War I that the US President Thomas Woodrow Wilson said,

 

“Is there any man, is there any woman, let me say any child here, that does not know that the seed of war in the modern world is industrial and commercial rivalry?” 

 

It is undeniable that a contributory reason for the full scale American war against so-called global terrorism and a direct fallout of the Afghanistan imbroglio is US desire for access to hydrocarbon reserves of the Central Asian states.  The Americans have no doubt seized the opportunity offered by the events of 9/11 and converted the catastrophe to their long-term national advantage. 

 

Coincidentally, as if on the eve of the attack on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, American Energy Information Administration stated:

 

“Afghanistan’s significance from an energy standpoint stems from its geographical position as potential transit route for oil and natural gas exports from Central Asia to the Arabian Sea.” 

 

Consider the events prior to 9/11.  “Bush administration’s ties to oil and gas are as deep as an offshore well”, said Damien Cave in an article d entitled “The United States of Oil”.  Dick Cheney, the US Vice-President was the Chief Executive of Halliburton, one of the largest oil service companies.  Condoleeza Rice, the national security advisor was on the board of directors of Chevron and an oil tanker was named after her.  The US treated the Taliban with kid gloves right until August 2001 because of its interest in a land pipeline through Afghanistan to transport oil to ports in Pakistan bypassing Iran.  The oil interest also prevented the US from outright condemnation of Pakistan’s support of militancy in Kashmir due to the Taliban factor until 9/11.  A US oil company (Unocal) almost clinched the US $ 4.5 billion deal with the Taliban for a 1600 km pipeline with a US $ 100 million per year to Taliban as transit fees.  This was to get a secure access to the proven reserves of 20 to 33 billion barrels in Central Asian republics bordering Afghanistan.  It was only in December 1998, four months after the bombing of the US embassy in Tanzania, that Unocal was prevailed upon to drop its plan to build the pipeline due to pressure from US human rights groups. 

 

US Military Presence in Pakistan and Indian Concerns

 

The US interest in oil has again revived.  Indian concerns have become critical because the world geo-political situation may well make uncertain the use of Central Asian and Middle Eastern oil to India unless India plays her cards wisely.  The concerns over Kashmir remain.  It is for this reason too that America would not dump Pakistan in a hurry and would continue her efforts for a rapprochement between India and Pakistan, perhaps to the detriment of India’s strategic interests.  If India continues to be ‘obstinate’, Pakistan would benefit in terms of massive economic and military aid at the cost of allowing US troops to be stationed in Pakistan.  If India ‘cooperates”, her concerns over access to oil and the Kashmir insurgency remain un-addressed.

 

Nadeem Malik reports in Asia Times of January 30, 2002 that the US military is seeking deeper roots in Pakistan.  Diplomatic sources claim that the United States has offered to sell Islamabad military hardware, provide security assistance and facilitate an economic support package if it agrees to allow the US to develop a military base in Pasni, Balochistan, 180 miles west of the southern port city of Karachi.  From the military point of view, the area is extremely important, not just from the Afghan or Central Asian perspective, but also due to the strategic depth it offers with regard to the Gulf region.  A strong base here could easily provide support to the US naval fleet in the Arabian Sea.  In the event that the US moves - or is forced to move - its troops from Saudi Arabia, Balochistan is an ideal option.  Top US officials have assured Islamabad that there was a lot to gain in terms of defence and the economy.  One assurance, they say, would be in the shape of a deterrent against any possible Indian incursion on Pakistani soil.  Musharraf would like to have extended defence cooperation between the two countries on some mutually acceptable terms.  Both eventualities; US with a permanent base in Pakistan or Pakistan in extended defence cooperation with the US, are ominous for India; economically it would deprive India access to oil and militarily it will weaken its position in Kashmir. 

Words 3049


Annexure 1

Hydrocarbons Scenario in the United States of America

(Courtesy: Energy Information Administration)
(U.S. Crude Oil, Natural Gas, and Natural Gas Liquids Reserves 2000 Annual Report)
 
US Proved Reserved

 

The US had 22.045 billion barrels of proves reserves as of January 1, 2001, 12th highest in the world.  These reserves are concentrated overwhelmingly (over 80 %) in the four states – Texas (25 % including the state’s reserves in the Gulf of Mexico), Alaska (24 %) California (21 %) and Louisiana (14 % including the state’s reserves in the Gulf of Mexico).  This is an increase of 1.3 % over its reserves as of January 1, 2000.  The US proven natural gas reserves (3.2 % of the world reserves or 6th in the world) as of January 1, 2001 are of the order of 177 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), which is an increase of about 6 % over the reserves as of January 1, 2000.  However, US proven oil reserves have declined by about 20 % since 1990, with the largest single decline of 1.6 billion barrels in 1991. 

 

US Hydrocarbon Production

 

During 2000, the US produced about 8.18 million barrels per day (BOPD) of which 5.83 million BOPD was crude oil and the rest natural gas and other liquids.  Alaskan oil accounted for about 0.97 million BOPD.  The Alaskan production will fall to 0.408 million BOPD by 2021.  US oil production for 2001 is about 9 million BOPD.  US oil production in 2000 was down sharply (around 2.5 million BOPD or 24 %) from the 10.6 million BOPD averaged in 1985.  US crude oil production, which declined following the oil price collapse of late 1985/early 1986, levelled off in the mid-1990s and began falling again following the sharp decline in oil prices of late 1997/early 1998.  With the rebound in world oil prices since March 1999, US crude production basically levelled off once again in 2000.  World oil prices rose initially following 9/11, but then fell sharply as OPEC reassured world markets that it would maintain plentiful supplies.  This left the oil markets to focus on world oil demand, which was weakening due to economic slowdown even prior to 9/11. 

 

The US produced 19.1 Tcf dry natural gas during 2000.  The US depends on natural gas for about 24 % of its total primary energy requirement, while oil accounts for 39 % and coal for 23 %.  A graph showing US petroleum production, consumption and imports from 1950 until 2000 is at Attachment.  It will be seen that, in spite of large discoveries, the imports have gone up to 60 % in 2000 from a near zero in 1950. 

 

US Hydrocarbon Consumption

 

The US consumed 19.7 million BOPD in 2000 and its net oil imports were of the order of 11.8 million BOPD representing about 60 % of the total oil demand.  Of this, 8.5 million BOPD or 43 % was motor gasoline and 9 % jet fuel.  About 45 % of the crude oil imports came from OPEC nations with about 22 % from the Persian Gulf.  Overall, the top suppliers to the US during 2000 were Canada (1.81 mm BOPD), Saudi Arabia (1.57) and Venezuela (1.55).  The Canadian imports were mainly natural gas (net 3.35 Tcf).  The US consumed 22.7 Tcf of natural gas during 2000 and imported 3.73 Tcf representing 16 % of the total gas demand.  US natural gas production is projected to increase over the next two decades in response to strong demand, abundant reserves and improved recovery techniques.  The increase is expected mainly from onshore areas and deep water Gulf of Mexico.  Alaska also has 30–35 Tcf of gas reserves.  A $ 17.2 billion natural gas pipeline running from the North Slope Alaska along the Alaska Highway into Alberta and on to markets in the US Midwest is being planned.  The consumption of natural gas increased during 1990–2000 by about 22 %.  The growth is likely to continue in the future.  Natural gas consumption in the US is mainly in the industrial  (41 %), residential (22 %), commercial (15 %) and electric power utility (13 %). 

Overview of US Proved Reserves

 

Proved reserves of crude oil increased by 280 million barrels in 2000.  U.S. crude oil proved reserves increased in 2000 due to reserves additions in the Lower 48 States offshore.  Total discoveries are those reserves attributable to field extensions, new field discoveries, and new reservoir discoveries in old fields.  They result from the drilling of exploratory wells. Total discoveries of crude oil were 1,291 million barrels in 2000, about 71 percent more than the prior 10-year average (753 million barrels).  Most crude oil total discoveries in 2000 were from extensions to existing fields, which accounted for 766 million barrels of crude oil reserves additions.  New field discoveries of 276 million barrels were 35 percent higher than the prior 10-year average (205 million barrels).  New reservoir discoveries in old fields were 249 million barrels, 78 percent more than the prior 10-year average (140 million barrels).  Reserves additions are the sum of total discoveries, revisions and adjustments, and sales and acquisitions.  While sales and acquisitions of crude oil proved reserves were both large, the net of sales and acquisitions of crude oil proved reserves was only a negative 20 million barrels.  

 

Production of crude oil was an estimated 8.180 million barrels in 2000.  This was down 4 percent from 1999’s level and down 17 percent from the prior 10-year average (2,254 million barrels). 

 

Dry natural gas proved reserves increased by 10,021 billion cubic feet (Cft) in 2000.  U.S. total discoveries of dry gas reserves were 19,138 billion Cft in 2000, 75 percent more than the prior 10-year average (10,931 billion Cft).  Field extensions were 14,787 billion Cft, more than twice the prior 10-year average of 7,119 billion Cft.  New field discoveries were 1,983 billion Cft, 35 percent more than the prior 10-year average (1,473 billion Cft).  New reservoir discoveries in old fields were 2,368 billion Cft, 1 percent more than the prior 10-year average.  Natural gas net revisions and adjustments were 6,071 billion Cft.  The net of sales and acquisitions of dry natural gas proved reserves was 4,031 billion cubic feet.

 

Production of natural gas removed an estimated 19,219 billion Cft of proved reserves from the US total.  Dry gas production increased by 1.5 percent compared to 1999.  Operators replaced 152 percent of dry natural gas production with reserves additions.  Coalbed methane production and reserves are included in the 2000 totals. 

 

US Reserves Changes since 1977

 

Comparing the averages of proved reserves estimates of 2000 with those of 1977 onwards to gauge the past year against history, the US:

 

a.       Discovered an average of 820 million barrels of crude oil per year of new reserves

b.      Had proved reserves additions of an average 2,125 million barrels per year from total discoveries, net revisions and adjustments, and net sales and acquisitions.

c.      Ended each year with an average net reduction in U.S. proved reserves of 477 million barrels (the difference between post-1976 average annual production and post-1976 average annual reserve additions) because production has outpaced reserve additions.

 

Since 1977, crude oil reserves have been primarily sustained by proved ultimate recovery appreciation in existing fields rather than the discovery of new oil fields.  Only 8 percent of reserves additions since 1976 were from new field discoveries.  Proved ultimate recovery (PUR) appreciation is the sum of net revisions, adjustments, net sales and acquisitions, extensions, and new reservoir discoveries in old fields. 

 

Since 1977, U.S. operators:

 

a.       Discovered an average of 12,271 billion Cft of dry natural gas/year of new reserves

b.      Had proved reserves additions of natural gas of an average 4,029 billion Cft per year from total discoveries, net revisions and adjustments, and net sales and acquisitions.

c.      Had an average net reduction in U.S. reserves of natural gas of 1,494 billion year/year.

 

Like crude oil, natural gas reserves have been sustained primarily by PUR appreciation since 1977.  Usually extensions rather than net revisions and adjustments are the largest component.

 

Reserves-to-Production Ratio

 

The relationship between proved reserves and production levels, expressed as the ratio of reserves to production (R/P ratio) is often used in analyses.  For a mature producing area, the R/P ratio tends to be reasonably stable, so that the proved reserves at the end of a year serve as a rough guide to the production level that can be maintained during the following year. 

 

R/P ratios are an indication of the state of development in an area and, over time, the ratios change.  For example, when the Alaskan North Slope oil reserves were booked, the U.S. R/P ratio for crude oil increased because significant production from these reserves did not begin until 7 years after booking due to the need to first build the Trans Alaska pipeline.  The U.S. R/P ratio for crude oil decreased from 11.1-to-1 to 9.4-to-1 between 1977 and 1982, as Alaskan North Slope oil production reached high levels.  In 2000, U.S. crude oil proved reserves increased, while oil production decreased—resulting in an upward shift in the US average R/P ratio from 11.1 to 11.7.  

 

After World War II, increased drilling and discoveries led to a greater R/P ratio (17).  Later, when drilling found fewer reserves than was produced; the ratio became smaller (7.5).  Prior to 1945, R/P ratios for wet natural gas were very high (33) since the interstate pipeline infrastructure was not well developed.  The market for and production of natural gas grew rapidly after World War II, lowering the R/P ratio.  The U.S. average R/P ratio for natural gas increased from 8.9 to 9.2 in 2000, as reserves increased 6 percent nationally while production had a 1.5 percent increase. 

 

Proved Ultimate Recovery (PUR)

 

PUR is the sum of proved reserves and cumulative production.  PUR does not represent the maximum recoverable volume of resources for an area.  It is instead a gauge of how much has already been produced plus proved reserves.  Proved reserves of crude oil or natural gas are the estimated quantities of petroleum, which geological and engineering data demonstrate with reasonable certainty to be recoverable in future years from known reservoirs under existing economic and operating conditions.  The figures for crude oil, condensate and wet natural gas illustrate continued appreciation (growth) of proved ultimate recovery over time.  In 1977, U.S. crude oil and condensate proved reserves were 33,615 million barrels.  Cumulative production of crude oil and lease condensate for 1977 through 2000 was 62,468 million barrels.  This substantially exceeds the 1977 proved reserves, but at the end of 2000 there were still 23,513 million barrels of crude oil and lease condensate proved reserves.  Therefore, US estimated proved ultimate recovery of crude oil was fundamentally increased during this period owing to the proved ultimate recovery appreciation process (continued development of old fields). 

 

International Perspective

 

International Reserves

 

The world's total reserves are estimated to be roughly 1 trillion barrels of oil and 5.3 quadrillion cubic feet of gas.  The United States ranked 12th in the world for proved reserves of crude oil and 6th for natural gas in 2000.  A comparison of U.S. proved reserves estimates with worldwide estimates shows that the United States had about 2 percent of the world's total crude oil proved reserves and over 3 percent of the world's total natural gas proved reserves at the end of 2000.  Several foreign countries have oil reserves considerably larger than those of the United States (22045 million barrels).  Saudi Arabian oil reserves (about 263500 million barrels) are the largest in the world, dwarfing U.S. oil reserves.  Iraqi oil reserves are almost 5 times U.S. reserves.  Closer to the US, Venezuela has triple and Mexico has around 25 percent more than the United States' oil reserves.  (Based on the World Oil and Oil & Gas Journal estimates). 

 

Petroleum Consumption

 

The United States was the world's largest energy consumer in 2000:

 

d.      The U.S. consumed 98,498,000,000,000,000 Btu of energy (98.5 quadrillion Btu).

e.      62 percent of U.S. energy consumption was provided by petroleum and natural gas—crude oil and natural gas liquids combined (38 percent), and natural gas (24 percent). 

f.       U.S. petroleum consumption was about 19.7 million barrels of oil and natural gas liquids and 62.2 billion cubic feet of dry gas per day (22.7 Tcf). 

 

Dependence on Imports

 

The United States remains heavily dependent on imported oil and gas to satisfy its ever-increasing appetite for energy.  In 2000, crude oil imports made up 60 percent of the U.S. crude oil supply.  Net gas imports increased slightly in 2000 to 3.73 trillion cubic feet, which is approximately 16 percent of consumption.  Almost all of this gas was pipelined from Canada.  Some came from Mexico, though Mexico remains a net importer of natural gas from the U.S., and liquefied natural gas was imported from Algeria and Australia.  Canada, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Mexico were the primary foreign suppliers of petroleum to the United States.