An Overview The United States' Energy Situation

Module1: US Energy Overview

Module2: US Energy Production Breakdown

Module 3: Simulation of US Energy Independence

Based on the report Case Study of Current Domestic Energy Deficit in the United States and Simulated Solutions for Filling the Deficit by Utilizing Renewable Resources and Other New Technologies, J.A, Werner, R.M. Lyman, N.R. Jones Wyoming State Geological Survey Coal Section, aka "case study".

What I want to accomplish in this report is to put into perspective:

1. The amount of energy the US uses annually

2. The sources and quantities of each source of energy

3. The amount of each type of energy produced in the US and imported

The case study presents this information and more, but I wanted to break it up into a simpler format to make it easier to digest. Much of the data in the case study is based on 2003 rates and quantities. Though things have likely changed since then, I suspect this is still an acurate snapshot for all areas, except perhaps renewable energy, which is still not significant in any case.

The case study uses the unit of a Quadrillion BTU as the measurement for energy use in the US. A Quadrillion BTU is 1 x 1015 BTUs, which is 1,000,000,000,000,000 BTUs. Another way of saying it is 1000 trillion BTUs, or 1 million billion BTUS, etc.

The case study converts from BTUs to other energy units. Table 1 shows the conversions they used. An equivlent quantity of 1 QUADRILLION BTUs (QBTU) was added.

TBALE 1: Energy Conversions to QBTU

Table 1 BTU to other Energy Units

Energy Unit


QBTU equivalent

Crude Oil, 1 barrel

5.25x106 BTUs

1.905x108 barrels per QBTU

Natural Gas 1 ft3

1012 BTUs

9.881x1011ft3 per QBTU

Nuclear/Renewables, kWH

10,421 BTU

9.596x1010 kWH per QBTU

Coal, 1 short ton

21x106 BTU

4.762x107 short tons per QBTU

The case stuudy estimates US production imports of energy for 2003 at 95.85 QBTU. They report that the EPA estimate for consumption in 2003 is 98.23 QBTU. For the purposes of this report, we will use the case study estimate, a difference of only 2.4%.

Figure 1 of this report shows the breakdown by type of domestic energy production, which accounts for 69.08 QBTU, or 72% of total energy usage in the US.

US Domestic Energy Production

FIGURE 1: Distribution of Domestic Energy Production

Federal Offshore production consisted of 3.15 QBTU of crude oil and 4.56 QBTU of natural gas. Imported energy consists of 26.77 QBTU or 28% of total usage. Table 2 shows the breakdown of imported energy, mainly crude oil. Note that the negative imports of coal indicate a small amount of coal exporting.

TABLE 2: Imported Energy Breakdown

US Energy Imports

Figure 2 shows the energy usage in the US by state.

US Energy Consumption by State

FIGURE 2: Energy Consumption per State, QBTU

Figure 3 shows the energy production by state. Recall that domestic production is 78% of consumption.

US Energy Production (78% of Consumption)

FIGURE 3: Energy Production by States (78% of consumption)

On to Module2: US Energy Production Breakdown