US Oil Import Bill to Top $400 billion this Year, Says Petroleum Intelligence Weekly

Fri Mar 7, 2008 6:00pm EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

NEW YORK--(Business Wire)--
With the run-up in oil prices over the past four years, the United
States is paying dearly for its dependence on imported oil, Petroleum
Intelligence Weekly (PIW) reports in its latest issue. The US oil
import bill last year came to some $327 billion, and should easily top
$400 billion this year. That's an increase of some 300% since 2002,
according to PIW.

   Last year, PIW reckons that the US paid out a record $245 billion
for about 10 million barrels per day of crude oil imports, and another
$82 billion for about 3.5 million b/d of imported oil products. This
year it looks like paying out even more, with domestic crude
production continuing to fall, demand for imports of high-priced
transport fuels remaining strong, and oil prices around 30% higher
year-on-year so far in 2008. The increase to an estimated $440 billion
for 2008 is based on an average $90 per barrel crude oil price for the
year. In 2002, before the current bull market for oil began, US oil
imports cost less than $103 billion.

-0-
*T
                 US Oil Import Bill
-----------------------------------------------------
 ($-bill)     Total        Crude         Products
---------- ----------- -------------- ---------------
   2000      119.26        89.88           29.38
---------- ----------- -------------- ---------------
   2001      102.74        74.29           28.45
---------- ----------- -------------- ---------------
   2002      102.77        79.25           23.52
---------- ----------- -------------- ---------------
   2003      132.44        101.80          30.64
---------- ----------- -------------- ---------------
   2004      179.27        136.03          43.24
---------- ----------- -------------- ---------------
   2005      206.06        138.94          67.12
---------- ----------- -------------- ---------------
   2006      300.07        225.53          74.54
---------- ----------- -------------- ---------------
  2007p      327.34        245.53          81.81
---------- ----------- -------------- ---------------
  2008e      440.00        331.00         109.00
---------- ----------- -------------- ---------------
*T

   p-preliminary, e-estimated.

   With oil prices this year as strong or stronger than in 2007, any
moderation in the US import bill must come from reduced volumes. While
oil demand growth has slowed in recent years due to both high prices
and greater fuel efficiency, the higher quality of crude oil imports
that US refiners require and the emphasis on high-quality transport
fuels in the product import mix are likely to keep upward pressure on
import costs even if volumes are stable, according to PIW.

   Although "energy security" and "dependency on the Mideast" get the
attention in the national debate over oil imports, huge and rapidly
rising costs are of greater immediate economic significance, PIW says.
Relatively secure supplies from Canada and Mexico account for about
one third of crude imports.

   Petroleum Intelligence Weekly is published by Energy Intelligence,
www.energyintel.com.

Energy Intelligence
Tom Wallin, 1-212-532-1112
twallin@energyintel.com

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