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Re: [casi] Net and gross oil imports

As an interesting aside to whether oil prices will suddenly rise if there is
a US bombing of Iraq, there probably will be in the very short term, in fact
oil prices have already gone up somewhat because of this fear of disruption
to supplies.After September 11 oil prices bottomed out because the market
was depressed about the world economy, but now it sees things are improving
and that Opec is tightening enough supplies to keep prices up a bit.
Iraq exports about 1.5 million barrels per day to between 2 million b/d at
the moment, but the Saudis have alone have enough of what is called "spare
capacity" ie. what they have left over from what they aren't producing to
cover any shortfall in Iraqi supplies. the rest of Opec will probaably chip
in as well to make sure prices are kept stable. Nevertheless oil markets are
very volatile and they probably can;t avoid a short term scare which will
see prices go up, but Opec will be expected to do their bit and produce
enough extra oil to calm things down a bit, and keep prices stable.
An interesting aspect of the oil for food program is that the price of
Iraq's exports are now set by the UN sanctions committee. Because last year
the Iraqi government was charging its buyers a "surcharge" per barrel which
was pocketed by the iraqi government, outside the oil for food program, the
UN sanctions committee stepped in and now sets prices retrospectively to try
and stop the iraqi government from pocketing this levy from traders outside
the program. What this has done is brought unpredictability to Iraq's oil
exports, because buyers have become wary of Iraqi oil because they don't
know what price they will pay until the end of each month, after they have
bought it.The level of Iraq's exports has gone down since this retrospective
system was introduced, and its just another reason for disputes every time a
new phase in the oil for food program gets renewed. Who's to blame? That I
can't answer but as someone who has followed this probably both parties on
this specific issue because both are engaging in pathetic politicking,
Peter Kiernan
----- Original Message -----
From: "peter kiernan" <>
To: "Per Klevnäs" <>; "Eric Herring"
Cc: <>
Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2002 12:42 AM
Subject: Re: [casi] Net and gross oil imports

> Hi,
> i think Per has cleared this up. The US does export oil but very little,
> thats because domestic consumption far exceeds domestic supply, ie. in the
> early 1970s, the US produced about 9 million barrels per day of oil, but
> it produces about 5.9 million b/d, yet its imports of crude oil average
> these dys about 9 million b/d because consumption keeps growing.Of that 9
> million b/d about 1 million b/d now comes from Iraq, which is a very
> interesting statistic,
> best,
> Peter
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Per Klevnäs" <>
> To: "Eric Herring" <>
> Cc: <>
> Sent: Friday, March 15, 2002 12:17 PM
> Subject: 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
> email:    
> tel:    01223 329 131                mobile:   07990 501 905
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq 
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