Oil has been used by the human race for over 70 centuries, for most of that time it was used primarily for lighting. However, oil as it is known today now only came into being around the mid 1800’s when a method to distill kerosene from crude oil was formulated. With the industrial revolution came the tag ‘black gold’ when the method of fractional distillation was used by fuel companies to extract several useful products from crude oil chief among them petroleum. Petroleum became and has remained to date the most precious and sought after product from crude oil and is the now the sole product from fuel companies.
In 1975, following an oil embargo issued against the United States by Saudi Arabia, the oil export ban was signed into being by President Ford to ensure that the United States was firmly secure and independent when it came to oil. However, after almost 39 years the U.S recently started exporting oil again. The United States stands to gain financially from this export and still remain secure. This article outlines how.
How large are the U.S oil reserves?
In 2011 the proven oil reserves in the U.S stood at 26.5 billion barrels, in 2012 that rose to 30.5 billion barrels with the state of Texas providing a third of this amount. These numbers are independent of the oil in the Strategic oil reserve. However fracking technology has taken the reserves to a whole new level making shale oil available and boosting reserves by 60 percent. This leads to a projection of 205 billion barrels in 2016 making America the country with the largest crude oil reserves in the world surpassing Saudi Arabia. America is producing so much oil that it is reported fuel companies may be unable to process it all.
What is the strategic oil reserve and how big is it?
The strategic oil reserve is an emergency fuel reserve maintained by the government, it is the largest stockpile of oil in the world. The strategic oil reserve has the capacity of 727 million barrels. In addition to this there is: The Northeast home heating oil reserve a supply of low sulphur diesel for heating homes and businesses that is one million barrels strong, the Northeast regional refined petroleum product reserve this is a seasonally adjusted supply of gasoline for consumers in the Northeast also one million barrels strong and finally the Naval petroleum and oil shale reserves which were meant to serve the nation during times of war but shall be sold off by the end of 2014.
Add to these large reserves, the petroleum the U.S imports daily from various countries that stood at about 10.6 million barrels a day in 2012. The U.S is firmly secure in its oil situation for quite some time to come.