27. WHERE DOES ALL THE OIL GO?
The United States consumes roughly 20 million barrels per day (MMbpd) of crude oil. This is a phenomenal amount, and constitutes about 25% of the world's oil production. So where does it all go? The stats show that personal transport accounts for 45% of U.S. consumption -- about twice the consumption of trucking, aviation and shipping combined.
The breakdown for 2003 is:
Total oil consumption: 19.7 MMbpd
Transportation: 13.1 MMbpd
Autos/light trucks: 9 MMbpd
Medium/heavy trucks: 3.8 MMbpd
Jet fuel: 1.6 MMbpd
Feedstock: 3.5 MMbpd
The following description and Table give the exact figures:
C. Petroleum in the Current U.S. Economy The 39 quad consumption of oil in the U.S. in 2003 is equivalent to 19.7 million barrels of oil per day (MM bpd), including almost 13.1 MM bpd consumed by the transportation sector and 4.9 MM bpd by the industrial sector, as shown in Table III-1. This table also shows the petroleum fuel types consumed by each sector. Motor gasoline consumption accounted for 45 percent of U.S. daily petroleum consumption, nearly 9 MM bpd, almost all of which was used in autos and light trucks. Distillate fuel oil was the second-most consumed oil product at almost 3.8 MM bpd (19 percent of consumption), and most was used as diesel fuel for medium and heavy trucks. Finally, the third most consumed oil product was liquefied petroleum gases, at 2.2 MM bpd equivalent (11 percent of total consumption), most of which was used in the industrial sector as feedstock by the chemicals industry. Only two other consuming areas exceeded the 1 MM bpd level: kerosene and jet fuel in the transportation sector, primarily for airplanes, and "other petroleum" by the industrial sector, primarily petroleum feedstocks used to produce non-fuel products in the petroleum and chemical industries.
Source: U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, Detailed annual petroleum consumption accounts by fuel and sector at www.eia.doe.gov, 2004. Cited in the Hirsch Report (pp. 21-22)(pdf format)
Peak oil is not a threat to the stability of civilization, world trade or global food supplies (or even the transport of food supplies). It is first and foremost a problem of massive fuel waste in private automobiles. Essentially, the entire production of Saudi Arabia is being burned everyday by Americans commuting to work and driving to the mall etc. Strictly speaking, none of that fuel consumption is necessary. It is a symptom of a wasteful, environmentally destructive car culture which needs to be brought under control.
More information on this topic: 326. DETAILED BREAKDOWN OF US PETROLEUM U.S. PETROLEUM USE