Only 13% Of American Oil Comes From The Middle East

Either the Bushes made a huge mistake, or they really were altruistic about freedom in Kuwait and Iraq. The latest figures show that the biggest source of American oil is — by far — America itself, with 38%. Next up: Canada, with less than half that (15%), followed by Saudi Arabia (8%), Mexico (7%), Venezuela (6%) and Nigeria (5%). Besides Saudi, the other Arabic countries combined provide only 5% of oil to the US. On the other hand, countries in the Americas supply a whopping 73% of it — and almost all of that comes from North America.

Source: Energy Information Administration. Credit: Nelson Hsu / NPR


Next time someone questions the motivation behind American military action in Arab countries, point them to this article, right? Wrong. There are two factors to oil security: availability and price. During the 1970s, the energy crisis was caused by both factors: there wasn’t enough oil, and so the meager amount that was around was ridiculously expensive. Since then, we’ve obviously taken steps to solve the first problem and get our oil from more stable sources around us. But, as we’ve seen before, since the price of oil is global, having secure sources of oil won’t affect its price.


10$/gal gas is better than no gas


In other words, if the US gets all the oil it wants from North America but all the other sources dry up, then Europe and China will starve for oil and consequently, the price will still skyrocket like it did in the 1970s; the key difference is that there will still be oil in the country, so there won’t be long gas lines — but that oil will cost an arm and a leg. Therefore, even though we have secure petroleum sources, it’s still relatively important for us to make sure the rest of the world also has enough, so that we not only have oil, but have cheap oil. Ergo, spending a few billion invading Iraq or freeing Libya still makes economic sense, even if it’s not as dire of an issue as not having oil to begin with. And on the plus side, much of the oil used to fuel the military now comes from domestic sources.

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