Crude Oil Exports - Crude Oil Imports

At the current rate of crude oil consumption, it is estimated that crude oil reserves will get depleted in another 40 years or so. Oil plays a major role in the economic condition of any country in the world. Nearly 75-80 million barrels are used per day out of the trillion barrels that are present in the earth's reserves. The price of a single barrel was around $70 in August 2009. There's not a single country in the world that doesn't require or use crude oil as it is refined and processed into various products such as fuel oil, gasoline, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), synthetic runner, fertilizers, plastics and much more. Lorries, Cars, trucks and other vehicles run on diesel oil and petrol daily. Crude oil imports and crude oil exports are major activities in each and every country in the world.

Crude oil imports become essential when a country is unable to meet its domestic requirements. At any cost the countries are willing to buy barrels and barrels of oil because of its high value and usage. Crude oil and its by-products are used as raw materials or inputs in various manufacturing industries. Hence oil is an essential commodity for domestic as well as industrial use. Even though certain countries produce crude oil, they cannot meet the demands in the local market due to high consumption. Hence those countries are again dependent on crude oil imports.

Monthly data on the origins of crude oil imports in December 2009 has been released and it shows that three countries exported more than 1.00 million barrels per day to the United States (see table below). The top five exporting countries accounted for 71 percent of United States crude oil imports in December while the top ten sources accounted for approximately 87 percent of all U.S. crude oil imports. The top five sources of US crude oil imports for December were Canada (2.051 million barrels per day), Mexico (1.063 million barrels per day), Nigeria (1.020 million barrels per day), Saudi Arabia (0.886 million barrels per day), and Venezuela (0.772 million barrels per day). The rest of the top ten sources, in order, were Algeria (0.336 million barrels per day), Iraq (0.325) million barrels per day), Angola (0.266 million barrels per day), Brazil (0.181 million barrels per day), and Colombia (0.179 million barrels per day). Total crude oil imports averaged 8.133 million barrels per day in December, which is a decrease of 0.576 million barrels per day from November 2009.

At times, some countries get involved in crude oil imports and in turn export it to another country, which is known as Entrepot trade. The global economy faces a huge threat if the major oil producing countries refuse to supply oil. Some companies use a substitute for crude oil to minimize production costs when the prices are high The major crude oil importers are United States, India, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, China and Japan. There are lots of factors that influence the need for crude oil imports.

Huge revenue is earned from crude oil exports and this has played a key role in making the gulf countries global leaders. The rate at which crude oil is being consumed is increasing due to technology improvements, demands of the individuals and industries. At present, United States of America is the largest consumer of crude oil. The major crude oil exporting countries are Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela, Kuwait, Nigeria, Iraq, Libya, Qatar and many more.

The crude oil exports and imports are controlled and regulated by Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). It ensures that there is proper supply to those countries, which are dependent on the crude oil imports. OPEC also ensures price stability in the global markets and controls fluctuations in demand and supply of crude oil. The oil producing countries are given due regards in terms of earning a steady income. Meetings are often held among the 12 member countries of OPEC to discuss various rising issues that have an impact on the global economy.

Crude Oil Imports (Top 15 Countries)
(Thousand Barrels per Day)
Country Dec-09 Nov-09 YTD 2009 Dec-08 YTD 2008

CANADA 2,051 1,984 1,938 2,033 1,956
MEXICO 1,063 951 1,096 1,126 1,187
NIGERIA 1,020 948 771 869 922
SAUDI ARABIA 886 837 989 1,394 1,503
VENEZUELA 772 809 965 1,028 1,039
ALGERIA 336 219 277 235 312
IRAQ 325 458 448 519 627
ANGOLA 266 408 449 553 504
BRAZIL 181 261 294 208 231
COLOMBIA 179 216 254 148 178
RUSSIA 168 169 232 54 116
KUWAIT 160 287 185 194 206
AZERBAIJAN 147 74 75 78 73
CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE) 93 109 64 95 67
ECUADOR 86 150 174 252 214

Note: The data in the tables above exclude oil imports into the U.S. territories.