The United States of America and Canada are among the top consumers of oil in the world, with the two countries combined using around one-fifth of the total global oil supply every year. Oil consumption in North America alone is responsible for 24% of the annual global oil consumption over the years. This large amount of oil consumption fosters numerous industries in the respective countries and provides an essential source of fuel. There are several factors that have contributed to the high oil consumption rate seen in North America, all of which are discussed in this article.
The first factor that influences the amount of oil consumed in North America is the size and population of the region. With a combined population of nearly 360 million people, the population density of the two countries is much higher than other parts of the world. This means that the need for transportation and logistics are much greater than other parts of the world, all of which require the use of oil-based fuels. It is estimated that the population of North America contributes around 25% of the total global oil consumption in one year.
The second contributing factor is the continuous growth of the economy over the years. North America has been the leader in economic growth for more than half a century, and the business dynamics of the region and population have had a massive impact on oil consumption. With increasing consumer demands, the demand for oil-based fuels increases as well. This brings about an increased proportion of oil consumption and petroleum usage. Businesses also require vehicles and machines for transportation and logistics, which all need to be fueled with oil-based fuels and thus eventually contribute to the overall oil consumption in the region.
The third contributing factor is the geographic location of North America. Mountainous regions of the continent are difficult to access and therefore require oil-based fuels for warmer climates. As a result, accessible areas are heavily reliant on the use of oil-based fuels and the region of North America is no different. This is especially true in the winter months when some regions experience cold temperatures and must rely on oil-based fuels for heating purposes.
The fourth such factor is the oil-refining capacity of the region. North America has extensive oil reserves and is home to some of the largest and most advanced oil-refining facilities. This means that the region can easily process and refine oil and its byproducts for further use, such as in the transportation and logistics sector, and in the domestic and commercial sectors. Hence, the high oil-refining capacity of North America contributes to the region’s high oil consumption.
Lastly, the fifth contributing factor is linked to how the oil sector has been heavily subsidized with local and foreign investment. Over the decades, the two countries have provided significant investment into the oil sector, which has allowed for the production of vast amounts of oil and its byproducts. This has also allowed for the construction of pipelines for distribution and export of oil-based fuels throughout North America. This investment has also allowed for easy access to oil-based fuels as a result of the highly developed infrastructure of the region.
In summation, the combined population, business dynamics, geographic location, oil-refining capacity, and the subsidies provided to the oil sector have contributed significantly to the high oil consumption rate of North America.