Source: US Energy Information Agency, International Energy Annual Report.
Petroleum Production, Consumption and Imports, United States,
The United States has different levels of energy dependency
(production over consumption) according to the source of energy it consumes.
It is self-sufficient for coal but must rely on imports for petroleum, particularly since it is well beyond its own
peak oil, which
occurred in the early 1970s. While the United States produced 69% the
petroleum it consumed in 1970, this figure has dropped to 25% in 2005.
To insure stability in oil supplies, the United States rely on
several suppliers. OPEC was representing between 75 to 80% of imports
in the 1970s and 1980s. This share is now around 55%. The new suppliers
are Mexico, Venezuela, Canada and Nigeria, which are not OPEC members.
While the dependency of the United States on foreign oil has
increased, there are recent positive developments as this share
of domestic oil production over consumption increased to 35% in
2012. This is mainly due to improved drilling and recovery
technologies, particularly of oil shale.
Through the 1960s and early 1970s, the price of petroleum was low
and petroleum imports increased steadily. With the
first oil shock (1973), the price of petroleum increased substantially,
temporarily stabilizing petroleum imports. As the price of petroleum
remained relatively stable through the end of the 1970s, petroleum imports
resumed their growth. In 1980 the second oil shock (Iranian Revolution)
substantially impacted on oil prices. Petroleum imports were reduced
significantly and domestic production increased as several oil fields
in the United States became profitable in such a context of high oil
prices. The oil counter-shock of 1986 shifted this trend and
petroleum imports by the United States have increased steadily since
then, with fluctuations mainly attributed to fluctuations in oil prices
and geopolitical events (e.g. First Gulf War of 1991).
Since 2008, two significant trends are being observed. The
first is a growth in domestic production, the
outcome of high oil prices and its influence of the
recoverability of oil resources. The second is a decline
in domestic consumption, the outcome of an ongoing
economic recession as well as improvement in energy efficiency
and the greater use of alternative sources of energy.