Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Military: United States’ Oil Consuming Lion

Perhaps all Americans are aware that the United States is in no way threatened of losing it’s place as the top oil consuming nation in the world. What some may not be aware of is the immense amount of oil the United States military itself uses each and every year. In fact, if the U.S. military were a country, it would be the 38th largest consumer of petroleum in the world, consuming around 160 million barrels of oil each year. This gargantuan usage amounts to over $10 billion of oil by today’s price levels.

The United States government consumes 2% of the entire amount of oil used in the nation each year; 97% of that usage swallowed by the Department of Defense. The Department of Defense used an average of 440,000 barrels of oil each and every day in 2004. That amount of oil is greater than the daily output of one of the nation’s most generously producing oil fields, Prudhoe Bay in Alaska.

All of the military usage is not for tanks, ships, aircraft, and the like, but most of it is. Only 25% of the military oil usage is for heating and powering their many large government buildings. The other 75% of military oil usage is for what is referred to as “mobility” type fuel. This includes all the fuel the military uses for every type of moving machinery, from attack vehicles to essential power generators.

Truth be told, as of late, the U.S. military has taken various productive steps in efforts to curb its seemingly unquenchable appetite for petroleum. The Department of Defense has spent many hours researching and implementing renewable energy sources in many of their facilities across the nation and world. They have recently become one of the largest single generators and consumers of renewable power in the entire nation. For example, at the U.S. Naval installation near Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, naval engineers have successfully installed and brought into operation a pair of wind powered turbines that are able to meet a quarter of the base’s power needs during the windy months of the year. They are even recycling their used cooking oil at the base and mixing it with diesel fuel, producing a biodiesel blend that fuels many of the base’s service vehicles. With these efforts and more, the U.S. military hopes to decrease its usage and also its need for foreign oil. Private business and transportation companies could profit by adopting new renewable strategies as well.

About the Author: Robert Jent is the president of Triple Diamond Energy Corp. Triple Diamond Energy specializes in acquiring the highest quality prime oil and gas properties. For more information, visit

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