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17 surprising stats about oil
Gas once cost 13 cents a gallon
 
The U.S. consumes 18.7 million barrels of oil per day.
The U.S. consumes 18.7 million barrels of oil per day. David McNew/Getty Images

Oil! That dark, viscous stuff that makes the world go round — or at the very least greases the great wheels of industry. Oil is so ingrained in the modern world — from fueling your trip to the supermarket to powering armies — that it's hard to wrap your mind around its enormous impact. Here, for some useful context, are some stats about the world's leading source of power:

200,000
Miles of oil pipelines the U.S. has within its borders. For comparison, the distance from New York to Los Angeles is about 2,778 miles, and there are 160,000 miles of highways in the National Highway System.

42
Gallons per barrel of oil.

19
Gallons of motor gasoline derived from one barrel of crude oil. The remainder yields distillate and residual fuel oils, jet fuel, and other products.

19.64
Pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) produced from burning a gallon of gasoline that does not contain ethanol.

8.95 million
Barrels of oil Saudi Arabia produced each day, on average, in 2012.

$4.11
The highest average retail price for a gallon of gasoline in the U.S., recorded on July 7, 2008.

13 cents
Lowest-ever price per gallon in the U.S., recorded during a pricing war in Missouri in 1951.

5,000
Years oil has been used by people. Its original use: Treating frostbite and gout.

2,500
Years ago that crude oil was first pumped from the ground in Sichuan, China.

90 million
The world's total daily demand for oil in barrels, on average so far in 2013 (including projections).

3.5 million
Africa's total daily demand for oil in barrels, on average so far in 2013.

30.4 million
The Americas' total daily demand for oil in barrels, on average so far in 2013.

18.7 million
Barrels of oil the U.S. consumes each day.

2.3 million
Barrels of oil Canada consumes each day.

$1.4 trillion
Oil baron J.D. Rockefeller’s adjusted net worth at the time of his death.

16 billion
Barrels of oil the Trans-Alaska Pipeline has shipped since it was built in 1977.

4.2 million
Barrels of oil the Deepwater Horizon oil spill leaked into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

Sources: The U.S. Energy Information Administration, InvestingAnswers, EDF Energy, the IEA's Oil Market Report, Feb 2013

 
Carmel Lobello is the business editor at TheWeek.com. Previously, she was an editor at DeathandTaxesMag.com.

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