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Thursday, March 7, 2013

What Country Produces the Most Petroleum?

If I were to ask you who is the world's largest petroleum producer, you would likely say Saudi Arabia or Russia. But as of the latest data available from US Energy Information Administration, it is the United States: http://www.aei-ideas.org/2013/03/us-was-worlds-largest-petroleum-producer-in-november-surpassing-saudi-arabia-for-first-time-in-ten-years/ The United States produced more petroleum in November 2012 than Saudi Arabia and is likely to widen its lead in coming years as the fracking/horizontal drilling revolution takes full hold here. Because we overtook Saudi Arabia late in 2012, the yearly totals still show us as #2, with Russia #3. No other countries are close, although China and Canada are #4 and #5 respectively. As Washington Post editorial writer Robert J. Samuelson (who specializes in economic issues) pointed out recently, this surge in oil production has been one of the bright spots in our economy, helping to offset the bad news. That is likely why President Obama has not followed the demands of his radical followers and shutdown fracking. Were he to do so at this point, the United States would suddenly find itself largely unable to produce any oil or natural gas. In places like California, where the radicals are in control, oil production has not blossomed the way it will eventually when the electorate realizes that they have a way out of the economic swamp they have created for themselves. Meanwhile, I imagine California politicians gradually sinking into the Los Angeles tar swamp known as 'Rancho La Brea.' Perhaps one day we will be able to recover their skulls and display them at the nearby museum that now has only Ice Age mammals! How would we label them? Homo sapiens neanderthalensis? or Homo heidelbergensis? or Homo rhodesiensis? or just archaic humans? I favor something like neanderthalensis, because they were largely an evolutionary dead end.
Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics) 
Corbett, Oregon USA

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