The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [casi] Net and gross oil imports

Hi Eric,

> I still can't work out the meaning of net versus gross oil
> imports. Enlightenment welcome

Gross imports is all oil purchased by US companies and consumers from
abroad.  However, as the US is a producer of oil as well as a consumer,
some of its production will enter the world market and be exported.  Net
imports take this into account, so that:

Net Oil Imports = Gross Oil Imports - Oil Exports

To illustrate: one could imagine an economy which imports as much oil as
it exports; net imports would be zero, disguising the fact that there is
significant trade going on, but capturing in some sense that domestic
productive capacity could, in some sense, substitute for imports in the
event that trade ceased.

In the fact-sheet the gross imports from the Gulf are used to illustrate
developments over time and to compare with alternative sources of US oil
imports ('Western Hemisphere' and 'Other').  Exports are rather
irrelevant here, as they don't change the composition of the US sources
of oil or what regions matter for the US market.

Net imports are used to compare the United States' situation to that of
other regions' (Western Europe's and Japan's). This may make the
comparison more relevant: Japan does not export oil, and comparing gross
imports would understate US dependence on oil from the Gulf in the current
trade setup.

Another relevant comparison is with total oil demand: 14% of all oil
used in the US came from the Gulf in 2001, corresponding to 25% of net
imports.  In other words, net imports corresponds to roughly 56% of all
oil used in the US.  That is: 'if the US did not export any oil, its
current domestic production would cover some 44% of its current
consumption'.  More information is available on a slide show on

I hope this helps,

Per Klevnäs

Research Co-ordinator, Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq
tel:    01223 329 131                mobile:   07990 501 905
Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq 

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]