February 28, 2011

Top Oil Importers to U.S. by Country: Where We Get It

Libya not on list of top 15 importers to U.S.

As world oil prices gyrate in rhythm with the unrest sweeping Middle Eastern/North African (MENA) countries, worries abound that the U.S. will feel the pinch of production losses in Libya.

However, even though Libya is the 15th largest exporter of oil and provides 2% of the world’s daily output, according to The Associated Press, those in the U.S. worried about a direct effect on the availability of oil from Libya can rest easy. Well, perhaps not easy, since the peripheral effects of Libya’s output reduction will of course be felt on the world market and U.S. prices are already on the rise.

The U.S. imports oil from a number of countries worldwide, as well as providing some of its own supply. But among the 15 largest suppliers to the U.S., Libya doesn’t even rate a mention. Most of Libya’s oil goes to other nations; 85% goes to Italy, Germany, France and Spain. While, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, we do import some 71,000 barrels per day on average (figures from January through November 2010), most of our oil comes from other sources.

More than half of the oil that fuels the U.S.—51%—comes from the Western Hemisphere, and only 17% comes from the Persian Gulf: Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Among our neighbors in the West, the top suppliers break down as follows:

  • Canada (23.3%)
  • Venezuela (10.7%)
  • Saudi Arabia (10.4%)
  • Mexico (9.2%)
  • Nigeria (8.3%)

Those top 15 countries mentioned above, and how much they supplied to the U.S. in December of 2010 (in thousands of barrels per day), come out like this:

Country

Crude Oil Imports

Total Petroleum Imports

  Canada

  2,064

  2,713

  Mexico

  1,223

  1,365

  Saudi Arabia

  1,076

  1,087

  Nigeria

  1,024

  1,070

  Venezuela

  825

  917

  Iraq

  336

  336

  Angola

  307

  319

  Brazil

  271

  295

  Algeria

  262

  --

  Colombia

  220

  231

  Ecuador

  192

  192

  Russia

  158

  514

  Kuwait

  125

  125

  United Kingdom

  124

  236

  Argentina

  85

  --

  Virgin Islands

  --

  191

 

Note that neither Algeria nor Argentina supply enough total products to make the top 15 in that category, while the Virgin Islands do not supply enough crude to make the top 15 crude suppliers.

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