Barack Obama’s promise Thursday to work to “end our dependence” on Middle East oil within a decade may be good political rhetoric when Americans have been paying $4 a gallon at the gas pumps, but the goal likely would be difficult – perhaps impossible – to achieve and flies in the face of how global oil markets work.
Last year, the United States imported about 10 million barrels of oil a day, of which about 20 percent came from the Persian Gulf states – principally Saudi Arabia, which sent 1.4 million barrels a day of crude to the United States.

Even if U.S. oil demand were to decline significantly over the next decade with more fuel-efficient automobiles and a greater use of biofuels such as ethanol, the United States, which domestically pumps 5.6 million barrels of oil a day, will continue to rely heavily on imports for decades to come, most energy experts acknowledge, with little regard to where the oil comes from.






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