by Gary Christenson, Deviant Investor:
The US has imported crude oil for many decades. The following data (1970 – 2015) comes from the Energy Information Administration of the US government. This data shows reported barrels of crude oil imported into the US.
(Note: This is not a comprehensive analysis of imported energy, nor does it compensate for exports of crude oil, imports or exports of coal, natural gas or other energy sources.)
Imported crude oil has increased erratically since 1970. Imports are down somewhat since 2008 due to the rise of fracking and the ongoing recession.
I plotted the approximate expenditures for imported oil by taking the average price for a barrel of crude oil each year and multiplied that price by imported barrels. Excel calculated an exponential curve that shows the huge increases in expenditures as well as the dramatic recent decline since 2011 due to reduced imports and much lower prices.
Now consider the cost of imported oil measured in ounces of gold priced at the annual average price each year. The cumulative cost of imported oil since 1970, if priced in gold, would have been 8.2 BILLIONounces of gold.
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