An enormous amount of innovative energy is now pouring into energy – alternative ‘green’ energy sources, wind, solar, etc. 

Here are 10 things energy innovators need to know about oil, still the world’s major source of energy.

1. American oil production peaked at 11,297,000 bbls/day in 1970, and has gone downhill since. In 2007 America produced only about half that, or 6,879,000 bbls/day.

2. Saudi Arabia is still the world’s largest oil producer, producing 10,413,000 bbls/day in 2007, down from 11,114,000 bbls/day in 2005. 

3. Russia ranks #3 in oil production, behind Saudi Arabia, and America, with nearly 10,000 bbls/day in 2007, very close to Saudi Arabia.  

4. Iran ranks fourth in oil production, with 4,493,000 bbls/day in 2007. 

5. Iraq (in which America placed great hopes for higher oil production)  produced just under 2,000,000 bbls/day in 2007, far below its production peak of 2,800,000 bbls/day in 1989, before the First Gulf War. 

6. Canada and Mexico produce, together, nearly as much oil as America, and supply most of it to their huge neighbor.

7. America consumes 20,600,000 bbls/day (2007), leaving it with a shortfall between production and consumption of more than 14,000,000 bbls/day. 

8. America’s oil imports have grown from a small 2,500,000 bbls/day in 1965 to a massive 13,800,000 bbls/day  today (2007). This increase was completely predictable, given forecasts of oil field discoveries, development and production history. So, America has had 43 years to prepare an energy policy to reduce or even prevent U.S. energy dependence on nations (like Iran) that are hostile to it.

9. Failure to build such a policy, and failure to invest sufficiently in innovation for alternative energy sources, must rank as one of history’s great innovation failures, and policy failures, of all time. Democrats and Republicans share the failure alike.

10. Total world production of oil in 1965 was 31,800,000 bbls/day; in 2007, it was about 81,533,000 bbls/day. So oil production has risen by 156%. So has oil consumption. The result can be seen daily – just look at your outdoor thermometer.

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