Crude world

  • 30/01/2003

Oil provides energy for 95 per cent of the world’s transportation

- Exxon-Mobil, the world’s largest oil company, had an annual profit of US $17 billion in 2001 (equivalent to about five per cent of India’s GDP)

- Oil, which could have made Nigeria one of the world’s wealthiest countries, has made it one of the poorest
(See Oil: The slippery lifeline)

Industrial nations are the biggest consumers of oil

- Impacts of oil consumption fall disproportionately on the developing nations

There are approximately 40,000 oil fields in the world. But only 38 ‘super-giant’ fields dominate crude oil reserves

- USA, which produces only about three per cent of the oil, consumes 30 per cent. Fossil fuels account for 85 per cent of US energy expenditures

Gas flaring contributes to 35 million tonnes of carbon dioxide and 12 million tonnes of methane to global warming annually

Large-scale oilspills (over 10 million gallons) have occurred almost every year since the 1960s. In 1999, approximately 32 million gallons of oil spilled worldwide into marine and inland environs as a result of 257 oil transportation accidents

- Oil refineries and transport efforts account for about 46 per cent of the estimated 3.2 million tonnes of oil that muck up oceans each year

Refineries in the US are often located near African-American and Native American population centres

There are over 700 oil refineries around the world, and in 1994 about 1,219,000 workers were employed in oil refineries

- Female petrochemical workers, exposed to organic solvents, have 53 per cent more chances of having prolonged menstrual cycles.

The country that wants this resource most isn’t the one that has it.
Number of global oil drilling sites
Region Land Off-shore Total
Europe 39 50 89
Middle East 141 28 169
Africa 32 28 60
Latin America 218 52 270
Asia Pacific 93 61 154
Canada 339 5 444
USA 776 140 916
Mexico 38 6 44
TOTAL 1,776 360 2,146
Proven oil reserves (2000)
Region Barrels
(in billions)
of total
Africa 74.8 7.1
Asia Pacific 44.0 4.2
Europe 19.1 1.8
Former Soviet Union 65.3 6.2
Middle East 683.6 65.3
North America 64.4 6.2
South and Central America 95.2 9.1
TOTAL 1046.4 100
OECD* 84.8 8.1
OPEC** 814.4 77.8
Note: *OECD members: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, USA.
**OPEC members: Algeria, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAE, Venezuela.
Source: Harvard Medical School

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