Given the unrest in the Middle East we’re hearing a lot of noise these days about how the U.S. is totally dependent on oil imports from that region of the world. The data, however, does not confirm these assertions.
We were surprised by the following table from the E.I.A. which shows the U.S. imports only about 25 percent of its crude oil from the Middle East and just 10 percent when Saudi Arabia is excluded. It is our sense that Saudi is much more politically stable than oil traders believe. This is not to say the U.S. won’t have to pay the world market price if supply is disrupted from Libya or elsewhere, however. (click here if table is not observable)