In 2013, eighty different countries contributed to the 9.9 million barrels of oil that the United States imported each day. The oil, of course, refers to petroleum which is used more specifically as crude oil, diesel fuel, or gasoline. Biofuels are also included among the imports. The vast majority, 78%, of U.S. petroleum import come to the country as straight crude oil, where it is refined in the U.S. for its more specific purpose. So just How Much Oil Does the U.S. Import from other countries?

The U.S. imported less oil than in previous years in 2013. Only 33% of petroleum was imported, which was the lowest amount since 1985. Most of this petroleum came from Canada, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Venezuela, and Russia. A large portion of oil exporting countries are part of OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) which was created in 1960, Current members of OPEC include Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. OPEC countries bring in 38% of Gross Imports, and 56% of Net imports.

Right now, the United States is using a lot of its own oil, and refining it as well as they can. But finding enough refineries to convert crude oil to gasoline or whatever type of fuel is needed is becoming a challenge, and although there has been a ban on the United States exporting oil for more than 40 years, many are calling for this ban to be lifted. Critics of lifting the ban believe that it would result in higher gas prices, a negative impact to the environment from greenhouse gas emissions as U.S. companies drill for more oil.

Other country’s ability to export oil  to the United States does not appear to be hindered, especially when the oil comes from Canada or OPEC nations. But If the U.S. begins exporting oil things might change, and it is unclear exactly how the changes will effect overall petroleum trade. If the U.S. drills for more oil to export, the need for foreign oil could decrease or increase depending on how much of the petroleum U.S. companies choose to keep and refine for American use.

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