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Petroleum - Petroleum Reserves

oil united gas natural

Estimates of the amount of recoverable oil and natural gas in the United States are 113 billion barrels of oil and 1,074 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Worldwide estimates of recoverable oil and natural gas are 1 trillion barrels of oil and 5 quadrillion cubic feet of natural gas. These worldwide reserves are expected to supply 45 years of fuel at current production rates with expected increases in demand. However, such estimates do not take into account reserves added through new discoveries or through the development of new technology that would allow more oil and natural gas to be recovered from existing oil and natural gas fields.

Daily consumption of oil in the United States exceeds 17 million barrels of oil per day, of which approximately 7 million barrels are in the form of gasoline for vehicles. Over half the petroleum consumed in the United States is imported from other countries. (Assuming oil costs $20 per barrel and we import 8.5 million barrels per day, over one billion dollars per week are spent on oil imports). While the United States has tremendous reserves of petroleum, the undiscovered fields that remain tend to be smaller than the fields currently producing petroleum outside of the United States. Thus, less expensive foreign reserves are imported to the United States. When foreign petroleum increases in price, more exploration occurs in the United States as it becomes more profitable to drill wells in order to exploit smaller reservoirs.

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