The Physics Factbook
Edited by Glenn Elert -- Written by his students
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|"Petroleum." World Book Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. Chicago: World Book, 2000: 333.||"The United States has about 26 billion barrels of petroleum."||4.13 trillion liters|
|Bisio, Attilio, & Sharon Boots. The Wiley Encyclopedia of Energy and the Environment. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1997.||"As of January 1, 1992, US reserves of petroleum were some 151 EJ (24.7 × 109 bbl)."||3.93 trillion liters|
|"Petroleum." Encyclopedia Americana 2000. Vol. 21. Danbury, CT: Grolier, 1999: 832.||"… analysts estimated the United States had once had 210 billion barrels of oil."||33.4 trillion liters|
|"Energy-Oil and Natural Gas Reserves." The World Almanac and Book of Facts. New York: Pharos, 1992: 174||"United States, Crude Oil (billion barrels), Oil and gas journal, 26.3; World Oil, 26.3"||4.18 trillion liters|
Petroleum is a valuable, naturally occurring liquid found in large quantities below the surface of the earth. Also known as crude oil, petroleum is a limited resource of vital importance to industry, individuals, and government. The worldwide availability of oil has been decreasing steadily and its price has likewise been increasing over the past decades. Seeing as how petroleum is a finite resource, it will likely be largely replaced by alternative energy sources within the next 40 years.
The standard unit to measure crude oil is a barrel (bbl). One barrel is equal to 159 liters. The volume of crude oil reserves worldwide is estimated at 160 trillion liters, of which some 4 trillion are to be found in the United States. By far, the majority of petroleum reserves (67%) are to be found in the Middle East Interesting to note is the fact that though the United States is the second largest producer, and by far the largest consumer of oil, it holds only 2.2 percent of the world's proven oil reserves. The majority of the US reserves are located in Alaska, California, and Texas.
In time, the petroleum reserves of the United States may actually be increased by oil shale, a rock plentiful in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. Oil shale contains a waxy substance known as kerogen, which yields oil when heated.
Sohail Ahmed -- 2000
|United States, United States Energy Information Administration (EIA), April 2001.||"The United States had 21.8 billion barrels of proved oil reserves as of January 1, 2001, twelfth highest in the world. These reserves are concentrated overwhelmingly (over 80%) in 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). US proven oil reserves have declined by around 20% since 1990, with the largest single-year decline (1.6 billion barrels) occurring in 1991"||3.47 trillion liters|
|Caspian Sea Region, United States Energy Information Administration (EIA), June 2000.||"Proven oil reserves for the entire Caspian Sea region (total country reserves, not just for the Caspian Sea itself) are estimated at 18 - 35 billion barrels, comparable to those in the United States (22 billion barrels) and the North Sea (17 billion barrels)."||3.5 trillion liters|
Editor's Supplement -- 2001
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