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US Oil Import Fell Below 50% In 2010, First Time In More Than A Decade

U.S. dependence on imported oil fell below 50 percent in 2010 for the first time in more than a decade.

This was disclosed by Robert F. Cekuta, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Economic, Energy & Business Affairs, while addressing the American Jewish Committee's National Energy Committee in Washington.

He said U.S. oil imports had been dropping since 2005, and net imports as a share of total consumption fell from 57 percent in 2008 to 45 percent in 2011 - the lowest level since 1995. Moreover, U.S. natural gas production grew by more than seven percent in 2011 - the largest year-over-year volumetric increase in history - and easily eclipsed the previous production record set in 1973.

Since President Barack Obama took office, U.S. domestic oil and gas production has increased each year. Cekuta said America's reliance on foreign oil had decreased, and "that trend is expected to continue thanks in part to the historic fuel economy standards established by President Obama, effectively doubling the efficiency of the cars we drive and saving consumers thousands at the pump."

In 2009, the United States produced 5.3 mmbd. Current U.S. crude production is 6.1 mmbd, a figure which is equal to the production recorded at the close of 2011, when U.S. crude oil production reached its highest level since 2003. The 6.1 mmbd U.S. production figure is also an increase over 2010 levels by an estimated 120,000 barrels per day.

Cekuta said the U.S. government was pursuing President Obama's "all-of-the-above approach to American energy security, which aims at reducing our reliance on foreign oil, saving families and businesses money at the pump, and positioning the United States as the global leader in clean energy."

The United States will keep relying on responsibly produced oil and gas in the near future, but over the long term, the Obama administration is committed to a policy that allows it to transition from oil towards cleaner alternatives and energy efficiency, he added.

The Obama Administration has made the largest investment in clean energy in history and the United States has nearly doubled renewable energy generation since 2008. Last year, according to industry experts, the United States reclaimed the title as the world's leading investor in clean energy technologies. In addition to the tax programs, the Department of Interior has worked to make public lands accessible for renewable energy projects as well as working to improve the safety and reliability of offshore oil and gas production.

The IEA forecasts that the world will see $5.9 trillion in new investments in hydroelectric and other renewable power, $2.8 trillion in coal, gas and oil-fired plants, and $1.1 trillion in nuclear power between 2011 and 2025.

by RTT Staff Writer

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