Picturing 21 Million Barrels of Oil

Sheryl CanterThis post is by Sheryl Canter, an Online Writer and Editorial Manager at Environmental Defense.


Site member border2 posted this idea to our Suggestion Box:

I think it could be useful/interesting to have some sort of a comparison or perspective of how much oil is being consumed by the U.S. and the world. … Like every x number of minutes the U.S. consumes x number of Olympic-size swimming pools of oil. I really don’t have a concept of the massive amount of oil we are using – x barrels of oil doesn’t translate into something I can plug into my world.

I put this question to one of our numbers experts, Noah Greenberg, and here’s what he told me.

In August we used 652,568,000 barrels of oil (averaging 21,050,580 barrels per day) according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. One barrel contains 159 liters and there are 2,500,000 liters in an Olympic pool, according to Wikipedia.

So in August, we used 41,503 Olympic-size swimming pools worth of oil. That’s 1,339 pools of oil per day. Maybe you like rivers better than swimming pools? That’s enough to fill a river 6.5 feet deep, 25 feet wide and 41.6 miles long every day.


This entry was posted in Energy. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

2 Trackbacks