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Journal Assignment Oil Market

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Journal Assignment (Oil Market) Throughout the past decade there has been constant discussion about the United States attaining most of its oil from the Middle East. In fact, many journalists and news feeds have theorized how the majority of American oil has been imported by the Middle Eastern countries, and have even gone to the extent to claim that the American “War on Terror” in Iraq was simply to attain more oil. Whether these conspiracy theories are true or not, import data on oil to the United States has proven otherwise. Peter Kiernan’s (2008) article “America is Not as Dependent on Persian Gulf Oil as Some Might Think” illustrates what his proposed title claims by providing substantial data.
As the international trade theory between countries in part focus on the process of oil trading throughout the world for the simple fact that industries trading from automobile to agriculture rely on oil in order to function. Hence, there have been debates upon the trade relationship between the United States and the Middle East especially post 9/11 terror attacks. The global market for oil as we can see has been a sensitive topic, as it has directly affected societies reliant upon their automobiles. Gas prices have continued to escalate therefore theories continue to derive from the individual level which eventually reaches in the international governing levels.
However the data in which Kiernan’s (2008) article provides illustrates how in reality that the United States does not attain all of its oil from the Middle East but mainly only one country from the Middle East – Saudi Arabia. Hence, “[i]n March 2008, the US imported 1.795 million barrels per day (b/d) from Canada, 1.535 million b/d from Saudi Arabia, 1.214 million b/d from Mexico, 1.154 million b/d from Nigeria, and 858,000 b/d from Venezuela. These top five suppliers accounted for 68 percent of total US crude oil imports for that month”. These numbers only prove that the United States consumption of crude oil imports and trade with the Middle East on the commodity of oil is not as strong as other nations. In other words, other nations seem to be more heavily reliant on oil trading with the Middle East than the United States. For instance, “about 83 percent of Japan’s oil imports, about half of China’s and 27 percent of OECD Europe’s [...and India]” seem trade with the Middle East in terms of oil. Ultimately this date illustrates and also clarifies who in fact trades Oil with the Middle East and/or the Persian Gulf and who does not. Furthermore, data continues to reveal that oil will be an extremely difficult commodity to trade and/or import and export between different nation-states for the nations in the Middle East and the West have made political allies as well when who they trade with.
It is extremely difficult to not flirt with politics between the Middle East and the Western nations (United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom per se) when describing the import and exportation of oil for there is a deeply rooted history we cannot ignore when discussing pressing issues like oil resources. In more words, after the Second World War, Europe and its imperialistic procedures weakened and hence the struggle during and after the Cold War only pertained to such weakness which inevitably looked for solutions. One major solution was to look for more oil resources which henceforth “had a geopolitical impact on the Middle East [...] control of resources and access to oil became paramount, to the extent that dictators and human rights abusers were supported”. The notion that Anup Shah (2010) is discussing we can see today with the constant struggle the Middle East is facing in terms of politics. Politics and History are without a doubt intertwined with the trading of oil resources thus one cannot escape that when describing such topics. Therefore, when former American president George W. Bush promised to “replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025,” is not only somewhat of a falsified promise but also near impossible to attain because the United States would then still have to be importing massive amounts of oil from the continents of North America, South America, and Africa. Such promises and statements by former leaders only reveal how contentious of the issue oil has been in the past and how it is still till today.
In recent news, due to the protests and revolutions occurring in the Middle East today there are newspapers flooding the cyber and physical world of how oil prices are going to increase and so will food production. Regardless of whom the United States has been dependent on for oil they require it a lot more today than they did yesterday. Keirnan goes on to explain that the United States has been dependent on oil imports since the 1970s and “had a 28 percent share of the American oil market but this has grown to 60 percent today – this has not made the world’s largest oil market more acutely dependent on oil from the Middle East”. Such statements only allow one to ponder how drastic the measures nations will take prior to achieving that they not only want but need in terms of the United States requiring oil. Moreover, with the growing need for oil in the United States one could only imagine that ties need to strengthen with other nation states that have resources like oil. Canada’s province Alberta produces a substantial amount of oil however one could still question whether or not Canada will need to venture elsewhere for oil trade partners as well considering alongside the United States we also use an increasingly large amount of oil and/or petroleum for our industries that surround our nation. Oil has been a controversial topic for people from all walks of life. From environmentalist that wish to infiltrate their ideals upon surrounding nation states to capitalist nations that succeed substantially economically through the importation and exportation of oil. It is clear to witness that the topic of oil has and always will be in our media for it is a great part of our daily lives throughout the world. Although Kiernan’s article was written in 2008, in the year 2011 we are seeing that this very minute people on the individual to the national level are watching over the Middle East’s update for their oil evidently affects most nations around the world.

The conventional wisdom that the US gets most of its oil from the Middle East is false. In actual fact the US imports more oil supplies from closer to home.

As oil prices continue to climb energy security has become a prominent topic of debate in the US, particularly as 2008 is a presidential election year. Both Democratic and Republican presidential candidates have promised Americans “energy independence” which would, theoretically, relieve the American consumer of having to buy petroleum from oil producers in the Middle East.
But how dependent is the US on oil supplies from the Middle East? Well, not nearly as much as people think. In fact the bulk of the US’ imported oil supplies come from closer to home and not from the Persian Gulf. Europe, Japan and China are actually more dependent on Middle East oil than the US is.
According to data from the US Department of Energy, of the top five suppliers of crude oil to the US only one, Saudi Arabia, is a Middle East exporter. In March 2008, the US imported 1.795 million barrels per day (b/d) from Canada, 1.535 million b/d from Saudi Arabia, 1.214 million b/d from Mexico, 1.154 million b/d from Nigeria, and 858,000 b/d from Venezuela. These top five suppliers accounted for 68 percent of total US crude oil imports for that month.
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When looking at the top ten foreign suppliers of crude oil to the US, only two more Middle East exporters make the list: Iraq (sixth), which exported 773,000 b/d to the US in March 2008, and Kuwait (tenth), which exported 199,000 b/d. The top ten suppliers of crude oil to the US accounted for 87 percent of total US imports for that month. Other importers that made up the top ten were Angola (sixth, 368,000 b/d), Algeria (seventh, 247,000 b/d), and Ecuador (eighth, 231,000 b/d).
Total US crude oil imports in March 2008 averaged 9.583 million b/d, of which the share taken by Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait was 26 percent. Even including the Arab North African exporter Algeria in the mix does not make much of a difference to the total amount of oil the US gets from Muslim states in the Middle East/North Africa region. Because of sanctions the US does not import any oil from the region’s other major producer, Iran.
Other major oil consuming economies depend on oil from the Persian Gulf at least as much – or if not a lot more than – the US. For example, the Persian Gulf supplies about 83 percent of Japan’s oil imports, about half of China’s, and 27 percent of OECD Europe’s. The Middle East is also a substantial supplier to India.
Read on * High Gas Prices Force Oil Re-think * Over Dependence on Foreign Oil Challenged * US Oil Dependence
While the US has become increasingly dependent on oil imports over the last forty years or so – in the early 1970s oil imports had a 28 percent share of the American oil market but this has grown to 60 percent today – this has not made the world’s largest oil market more acutely dependent on oil from the Middle East.
In his 2006 State of the Union address President George W. Bush promised to “replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025,” yet even if this occurred the US would still be importing substantial amounts of oil from the Americas and Africa.
At any rate as oil is freely bought and sold around the world it is impossible to choose where your oil comes from if you need to import it. And even sanctioned countries, like Iran, can sell their oil elsewhere. The only way to stop the need to import oil from the Middle East is to end the need to import oil overall. Given that US oil consumption is more than 20 million b/d this is no easy task

Read more at Suite101: The US and Middle East Oil: America is Not as Dependent on Persian Gulf Oil as Some Might Think http://www.suite101.com/content/the-us-and-middle-east-oil-a56014#ixzz1EuD714fL

--------------------------------------------
[ 1 ]. Kiernan, 2008.
[ 2 ]. Ibid, 2008.
[ 4 ]. http://www.globalissues.org/article/260/control-of-resources-supporting-dictators-rise-of-terrorism
[ 5 ]. Kieran, 2008.
[ 6 ]. Ibid
[ 7 ]. Cyber
[ 8 ]. Kieran

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