Index Research: The Pentagon and Oil
by Sarah Meyer
Nick Turse wrote, on Tom Dispatch (17.07.08): “For years, "oil" and "Iraq" couldn't make it into the same sentence in mainstream coverage of the invasion and occupation of that country. Recently, that's begun to change, but "oil" and "the Pentagon" still seldom make the news together. “
SOHBET KARBUZ has been following “Oil” and “the Pentagon” since 1999. Karbuz’ most complete article, US Military Energy Consumption- Facts and Figures, with extensive footnotes, was published in May 2007 on Energy Bulletin.
From this article, we learn that:
- The U.S. military is the single largest consumer of energy in the world. The American GI is the most energy-consuming soldier ever seen on the field of war. In 2005, The U.S. Navy was the largest diesel fuel user in the world.
- The DoD's total primary energy consumption in Fiscal Year 2006 was 1100 trillion Btu
- Defense Energy Support Center (DESC) sold $13 billion of energy to DoD services in FY2006. More than half of it was to Air Force. Oil accounts for more than three-fourths of DoD's total site delivered energy consumption. In terms of fuel types, jet fuel(JP-8) accounts for more than 50% of total DoD energy consumption, and nearly 60% of its mobility fuel. In 2006 Air Force consumed around 2.6 billion gallons of jet-fuel, which is the same amount of fuel U.S. airplanes consumed during WWII (between December 1941 and August 1945).
- Nearly three quarters of DoD site delivered energy is consumed by vehicles … Only one quarter is consumed in buildings and facilities. According to the DoD's Federal Energy Management Report for FY2006, the DoD spent approximately $3.5 billion on facility energy and $16.5 billion on energy for tactical vehicles. To this we should add 238 million spent on non-tactical vehicles. DoD consumed 97 million gasoline gallons for its non-tactical vehicles and for that it spent 238 million dollars.
- The fixed costs of defending Persian Gulf oil amounts to $137.8 billion annually.
- The U.S. military consumed almost 180 million barrels (or 490 thousand barrels per day) of oil in 1985 worldwide. In 2006, its oil consumption was down to 117 million barrels (or 320 thousand barrels per day), despite increasing activity in Iraq and Afghanistan. The discrepancies in these facts are discussed by Karbuz in Fact 7.
- The US spends about 150 thousand barrels abroad (“pessimist estimate”) per day.
- Whatever the true figure, oil consumed by the U.S. military does not show up in world oil demand. For more explanation, see under item #425 in October 2004 issue of ASPO Newsletter.
- Delivery of Fuel: Over 70 percent of the tonnage required to position today's U.S. Army into battle is fuel. The Air Force spends approximately 85 percent of its fuel budget to deliver, by airborne tankers, just 6 percent of its annual jet fuel usage." … Of the top 10 battlefield guzzlers in the U.S. Army, only 2 are combat vehicles (the Abrams tank and the Apache helicopter). The other eight carry fuel and supplies. Over half of the fuel transported to the battlefield is consumed by support vehicles, not vehicles engaged in frontline combat. … The Army has 40,000 troops involved in either the distribution or movement of energy.
- All Air Force's future aircrafts under procurement (F-22 Raptor, F-35 as well as new aerial refueling tanker KC-X, etc) run on oil. They will remain in service at least until 2030.
- On any given day, there are more than 300 trucks, carrying approximately three million gallons of fuel (71429 barrels), en route to military locations downrange. Interesting discussion, with map, of fuel supply lines.
- In total, the US military consumes roughly 16 kb/d of oil in Afghanistan. Of this amount roughly 2.7 kb/d comes from Turkmenistan, 2.4 kb/d from Uzbekistan and 10.8 kb/d from Pakistan.
- Total US military oil consumption went up from 295 kbd in 2000 to 363 kbd in 2007.
- OCONUS (oil consumed abroad) oil consumption accounted for 50% of total US military oil consumption in 2007, compared to only one-third in the year 2000. The US military oil consumption abroad was 180 kbd in 2007.