Saturday, April 14, 2012

US Oil Imports: Canada up, Middle East down

Robert Rapier has put together an interesting table documenting the changing dynamics of US crude oil imports over the past decade.

The data, taken from the US Energy Information Agency, document a dramatic shift away from dependence on Middle Eastern oil: 2011 imports were down substantially from their 2001 levels for Saudi Arabia (-32%), Iraq (-41% -- though there was a bit of a war there that affected capacity!) and Kuwait (-38%).

The big increases in US imports have come from Canada, particularly the Tar Sands (up 58% and now nearly twice the volume of imports from Saudi Arabia) and a variety of previously relatively small producers (Algeria, Brazil and Cameroon).

Particularly interesting is the differing trends among the US's NAFTA partners. Canada, which is bound by NAFTA's controversial proportionality clause, has seen exports to the US increase dramatically while Mexico, which is exempt from this clause, has slightly lowered its level of exports to the US over the 10 year period.

The construction of the Keystone XL pipeline will exacerbate the already existing trends and further entrench the US reliance on Canadian sources of crude.

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