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The only thing that charms man more than anything on the commercial side of existence is oil. From nations to economies, from industrialization to employment, from income to expenditure, from construction to destruction: everything revolves around the black gold. One of the most striking, elusive discoveries made in the 21st century is the profitable utilization of oil.
With the passage of time, we witnessed changing ranks of priority attached to oil. For instance, 100 years ago, it was a mere discovery in the petroleum industry to refine kerosene. Now, our reliance on oil has reached a stage from where we can hardly look beyond it. It is an inseparable part of our lives, more like an addiction of society.
The United States holds the top slot on the list of countries with the highest consumption of crude oil, with 19.6 million barrels per day. This is more than 25 percent of the global oil consumption. Statistics on US crude oil consumption reveal that in the last three decades, its consumption has remained almost intact, with mild variation between 16,000 million barrels to 21,000 million barrels per day.
Chinese crude oil consumption from 1980 to 2010 increased eightfold compared to US crude oil consumption, but it was well below the daily US consumption mark. According to United States Energy Information Administration, in 2000 Chinese consumption was nearly 5,000 barrels per day, and during 2010 it reached almost 10,000 barrels per day.
The Chinese share in global oil consumption has peaked at 10 percent of the global crude oil consumption. So what are the real reasons for the current levels of global consumption disparities in oil? To answer this question, we need to set up a broader platform for understanding consumption variation.
The most widely held belief is that the US consumes more oil than other nations because people own more vehicles than the average person in other countries. But the reality is different. It is the mileage of vehicles, habitual activities, and fondness that draws all the difference.
For example, in Europe, the average vehicle produced mileage of almost 32 miles per gallon (MPG), whereas in the US vehicles are just able to make 22 MPG. A second factor responsible for such a huge consumption in the US is neither mechanical nor financial, but habitual.
A brief glance on any parking space in US says that many people own less fuel-efficient SUVs and luxury sedans, while Europeans more often gravitate towards smaller-sized, more efficient cars. But it can’t be summed-up and concluded that less-efficient vehicles drag consumption high, along with this one aspect of life style also matters. Americans drive lot of miles, around 11.3 billion kilometres a day.
There is distinction in oil consumption pattern in different countries of the world. To put efficiency back in place, we need to find solutions that lead us to a better and more secure future in terms of energy utilization and sustainable consumption. One thing that eventually pops up in everybody’s mind is how far technology can help in terms of producing more fuel efficient vehicles in the future. Technology can be a great reliever of negative impacts on the environment caused by carbon emission, like through producing eco-friendly vehicles. But general public awareness is required to drag people towards low-consumption, high-efficient transportation systems as a whole.