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Volume of US Petroleum Consumption

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Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Pachauri, R.K. The Political Economy of Global Energy. Baltimore: John Hopkins University, 1985: 27. "Apparent consumption of refined petroleum products is 18.85 million barrels a day." 3.00 × 106 m3
(per day)
Energy Information Administration. US Petroleum Overview: 1998: Table 1. "Total petroleum products supplied for domestic use: 6,904,756 thousand barrels, 18,917 thousand barrels per day." 1.10 × 106 m3
(per year)
3.0 × 106 m3
(per day)
Annual Energy Review chronicles 50 years of changes in US energy. San Diego Earth Times. September 1999. "US oil production peaked at 11 million barrels per day in 1970. In 1998, the nation produced 8 million barrels of oil per day, while it consumed 19 million barrels per day and Imported 10 million barrels per day." 3.0 × 106 m3
(per day)
Hillmer. Steven C. & William R. Bell.1979-80 Census Seasonal Adjustment Project: Final Report on Activities [pdf]. US Census Bureau, Statistical Research Division. "1980:17.2 million barrels per day" 2.73 × 106 m3
(per day)
US Total Petroleum Consumption. Annual Energy Review. Washington, DC, 1998: Table 5.1. "US petroleum consumption declined for 2 years to a level of 16 million barrels per day by 1975…. By 1983, the United States was consuming a low of 15.2 million barrels per day…." 2.54 × 106 m3
(per day, 1975)
2.42 × 106 m3
(per day, 1983)

Fifty years ago, the United States was self-sufficient in its supply of petroleum. Today, it imports more than half of its petroleum and consumes 25 percent of the world supply. Petroleum dominates the transportation sector of the energy consuming economy. This domination rose from 77 percent in 1949 to 97 percent in 1998. Our increasing dependence on petroleum can already be detected in 1972, when the daily consumption was approximately 2.6 × 106 cubic meters (16.4 million barrels) per day. By 1997, this number rose to 3.0 × 106 m3 (18.6 million barrels) per day. Due to increasing growth of industry (e.g. newly invented appliances, car production) over the past twenty-five years, the average annual growth rate of United States total petroleum consumption was 0.5 percent.

During this time, the nation's consumption experienced lows and peaks, accordingly with the rises and falls of oil prices by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The price increase in 1973 caused a consumption decline to 16 million barrels per day until 1975. After this fall, consumption steadily rose until 1979, when the beginning of the Iranian revolution caused the oil prices to once again rise. As the US Total Petroleum Consumption Graph demonstrates, this decline did not stop until 1983, at which point it had reached a low of 2.4 × 106 m3 (15.2 million barrels) per day.

For the next 13 years the nation has experienced an overall steady increase of petroleum consumption reaching 3.00 × 106 m3 per day in 1996. The 1997 increase of oil production by the OPEC nations was not met by popular demand. By 1998, these prices plummeted and the United States consumed 3.02 × 106 m3 of petroleum per day. Oil prices skyrocketed 1999-2000 causing a decline in consumption which remains approximately at the volume 3.00 × 106 m3.

Tanya Albukh -- 2000