Oil – How Much Do We Use

The world uses 36 billion barrels of oil a year!

The world uses about 36 billion barrels a year!


Oil rigs on the ocean

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There are about 100 million barrels of oil used every day in the world or about 36 billion barrels annually. The United States uses about 20 million barrels a day, Europe and China are second and third.

One barrel of oil is 42 gallons. Daily we use about 4,200,000,000 gallons of oil. There is a lot of energy in just one gallon of gas. It stores well and is available on demand if you have an engine to put it to use.

Oil supplies 40% of all the energy in the world.

Source of graph: The Texas Education Agency

99.5% of all transportation is powered by oil. Electric cars are only about a half a percent of all cars on the road. Heavy trucks are in electric are now just being invented. The drawback to batteries is weight, ability to store energy and be recharged easily and conveniently are the technological issues that must be solved for electric vehicles to really pop. Electric engines are better than gas engines for many reasons. They are lighter and have less parts. They don’t wear out as easily. Yet, the battery power is the drawback. We will cover this in another issue.

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There are currently about 385 million cars and 15 million trucks on the road in America and 1.4 billion cars on the road in the entire world. And some estimates think that number will double in the next 20 years. That’s a lot of cars and trucks.

Getting food from seed to table is nearly 100% reliant on oil to power the equipment to do this.


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Key take away. The 8 billion people in the world use a huge amount of oil every year and our use is still growing. It will not be easy, cheap, or fast to replace all these machines that run on fuel made from oil. Right now, we need this fuel to feed the world.

Today, more people are better fed than any time in history. Both in terms of the billions of people eating better and the percentage of the world’s population that are eating enough. Starvation and not getting enough to eat are way down. We need to be careful, as so many want us to transition to new energy sources, so that people continue to eat well, live well, and prosper.