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Energy supply security: USA

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


  • Oil accounted for 36% of total primary energy supply in 2012.
  • Oil demand was 18.9 million bpd in 2012.
  • Domestic oil production was equal to 57% of consumption in 2012.
  • Crude production was 6.5 million bpd in 2012.
  • The US imported 11.1 million bpd of oil in 2012 and exported 3 million bpd of oil products.
  • The US is a net exporter of petroleum products.
  • The US meets its 90 day IEA stockholding obligation solely with stocks held in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).
  • Natural gas was 28% of total primary energy supply in 2012.
  • Domestic natural gas production covered 95% of demand in 2012.


  • The US is the largest consumer of oil in the world and accounts for 42% of oil consumed by IEA member countries.
  • Oil consumption is expected to remain relatively flat in the medium to long term.
  • The US has a largely deregulated and competitive oil market.
  • In 2012, the US had 145 operational refineries with a capacity of 17.3 million bpd.
  • The average refinery utilisation rate is 88.7%.
  • The key category of surplus product is middle distillates.
  • There are five new refineries proposed for the US.
  • Total operating shell storage capacity as of 30 September 2012 was 2.18 billion bbls.
  • US oil emergency response policies are based primarily on the Energy Policy and Conservation Act.
  • The government’s preferred response to an oil supply disruption is to release stocks from the SPR.
  • The SPR has a total storage capacity of 727 million bbls of crude oil.
  • The SPR consists of 62 large storage caverns in underground slat dome formations.
  • The DOE has overall responsibility for the management and administration of the SPR.
  • The US government has full ownership of all petroleum stocks in the SPR and its storage facilities.
  • At the federal level, oil demand restraint is not among the policy options available for use during an oil supply disruption.
  • The US has no specific policies to promote fuel switching in an emergency.


  • Forecasts indicate the US will become a net exporter of natural gas by 2018.
  • Shale gas comprises approximately 30% of total US natural gas production.
  • In 2011, US consumption of natural gas was 691 billion m3.
  • The natural gas market is dynamic and highly competitive, with a very active spot and futures market.
  • The US has 411 natural gas storage facilities with a total capacity of 120 billion m3.
  • The US government does not hold strategic reserves of natural gas or place a minimum stockholding obligation on industry.
  • The US president is authorised to declare and respond to a natural gas supply emergency.
  • The US government has no demand restraint policies in place at the federal level for use during a natural gas supply disruption.
  • The US government has no policies in place to promote fuel switching away from natural gas in an emergency.

Adapted by Claira Lloyd

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