Where does the US get most of its oil? It’s not from the Middle East. It’s from North America

According to this, Crude Oil and Total Petroleum Imports Top 15 Countries, as of November 2010, the top source of crude oil for the US is…Canada. Followed by Mexico. Indeed, of the top 15 countries that import oil to the US, 51.33% of them are in North America. If we add the rest of the Americas, 60.04% comes from there. If you combined the imports of the “West” (i.e. Canada and European nations), you have 34.28%. All in all, the United States got over 75% of its crude oil from non Arab states in November of 2010.

Often when you hear talk about oil, you would get the impression that the US got all of its oil from the Middle East. If anything, most of it comes from elsewhere. And the biggest importer exporter of oil to the US is Canada.

Something to keep in mind.

P.S. Fixed a number of typos in this post (“it’s” now “its” and “importer” now “exporter”)

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21 responses to “Where does the US get most of its oil? It’s not from the Middle East. It’s from North America

  1. A large portion of the world’s “cheap” oil resides in the Middle East. The oil is pure, on land that can easily be developed, in large amounts, and not too deep. Canada has huge reserves but they are in the form of tar sands where the oil has to be separated (which is expensive and horrible for the environment).

  2. All the oil that is pumped out of the ground in the USA, where dose it go ?

  3. The reason we get most oil from Canada and Mexico is because of tariffs. Other countries send oil to Mexico and Canada because they have lower tariffs than the US. And since Mexico and Canada can trade with us without tariffs because of NAFTA(Thanks Bill) then we get oil from them because it is cheaper for Us. So you cant really blame gas prices on the turmoil in the middle east. Just blame it on the Greedy US Goverment.

  4. arthur fiorillo

    the news media is a lot of b/s

  5. Thank you for the info. I’ve known this for a long time, but just seeing it in writing again confirms it for me again. I’ve had many conversations with people across the board and I throw in this tidbit and no one has EVER believed me. And I talk way too much about this stuff. Go figure. I remember this from high school, good to know that my facts are still straight. And, yes, the media is b/s. You now live in a country that truly runs propaganda. The only thing that separates us from the Nazi’s and Commies is that we are still able to research to find the truth…for now. I won’t even touch the evolution b/s. Thanks.

  6. I am confused. Does America produce most of the oil we use or is most of our consumption from abroad/
    Thank you.

  7. Andrew Frambach

    It’s true a lot of people don’t realize that most of our oil comes from North America….. at the moment. That’s just one piece of information, however it’s a lot more complex than that. It’s important to realize that oil is a finite resource. There is only so much of it in the ground. That’s where the idea of peak oil comes from – at some point in time oil production will begin to drop regardless of demand, due to dwindling resources. It happened in the United States in the 1970s, which is why we import most of our oil today. World peak oil (the peak oil of every nation combined and averaged) likely happened in 2005 or 2006 (note a dramatic increase in gas prices in 2007, the same thing happened after US oil peaked in the 1970s). Canada and Mexico will peak before Saudi Arabia (at least we think, Saudi Arabian oil may be exaggerated), if they haven’t already, meaning that imports from the Arabs will likely increase dramatically in the future. Look to the Hirsch Report for more information.
    Furthermore, as more and more of that oil is gathered, it becomes more expensive to get the rest. If that weren’t bad enough, not only does it become more expensive, it also requires more energy to gather. The energy efficiency of an energy resource is called its EROEI, or Energy Returned on Energy Invested. When the US first started drilling oil in the continental US, the EROEI was roughly 100 to 1, that is for every 1 unit of energy committed to gathering oil, 100 were returned. Today that number is roughly 3 to 1. The Canadian Tar Sands by contrast have an EROEI of about 1.3 to 1, which should scare you. Wind power and solar by contrast are far higher.

  8. Mexican production peaked in 2004 and has declined by about 1,000,000 barrels per day since then. Ramping up Canadian production from the tar sands is horrendously costly, time-consuming, energy-intensive, and environmentally-unfriendly. Yet all we hear about is Keystone XL, which wouldn’t even make up for the existing decline in Mexican production, let alone the further decline as time goes on.

  9. Pardon my pickiness, but “…the biggest importer of oil to the US ….” should read “…the biggest exporter of oil to the US….” You import from and export to.

    (I should know; I got a D in 10th grade English.)

  10. I hate to be the grammar police, but I think it’s important given that you’re trying to make a point that I think is vastly overlooked in the energy debate. However, you’re misusing the term “import” or your preposition is wrong – one of the two. The US imports oil FROM Canada/Mexico/etc. OR those countries EXPORT oil TO the US. You also have an it’s that should be an its. God is in the details. And thank you again for making the point.

  11. Last year for the first time in US history,the BIGGEST exporter of gaoline,deisel,and jet fuel was us,the good ole USA.We EXPORTED 117 million gal per day!!! Yea,Duh we have a shortage that is causing our prices to spike,but it,s the oil companies that are doing it to us,I say F-em! We should all gat a danm bike and start getting healthier and stick it to the danm greedy bastards.I,m sure Walmart would jump the price of the average bike to $500.00,and forget about a tube patch kit.They would be like gold!!

  12. Everybody is talking about the price of gas going up but what can we do about it? I know we need to do something. I have heard that Texas, Florida,
    Alaska has lots of oil that if they started drilling we wouldn’t have to get oil
    from elsewhere. There would be no need for the wars to come up in the
    foreign countries and their price of oil would come down. Isn’t what these wars are all about anyway? Oil?

  13. Sorry, I missed spelled my email.

    • It’s not a supply and demand issue, so more drilling would do nothing. We actually have an over-supply, which is why it’s being exported. Instead of just sitting there being stored for futures use, the oil companies want to make their money now. In the long run it is better for U.S.(security wise) to buy other peoples oil and save our own so that we will not be mercy of any other country in the future.

  14. I always remembered import & export as coming ‘in’ to (close to ‘im’) and EXiting (EXport) someplace. Silly, but it has always worked for me.

  15. The rising cost of gas at the pump has more to do with the perogative of the owners of the oil refineries who set pricing, and who use the political climate of the middle east as an excuse to hike their prices.

  16. I knew that America was a huge exporter and that the oil we import does not come from the Middle East but I am still confused as to the reason that, if we have enough oil to sell to other countries, we still must import so much. I have heard this is all about crude vs. refined oil and refineries set the prices. So is this because only America has refineries to process the oil or do we need oil in its crude form?

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