Many people are unaware of the massive amount of oil and refined petroleum that is shipped and consumed around the word. Every day, there are approximately 84 million barrels of oil used. Every day. 3.5 billion gallons, 5345 Olympic swimming pools, 13 Empire State Buildings. Quite unbelievable.
To understand who is using the oil, where it’s coming from, and what would happen if oil exports ground to a stop I retrieved data from US Energy Information Administration. The visualization is held on 3 tabs. The first allows you to explore where the oil is coming from, and where it goes. Sparklines and sorted tables allow for quick understanding of the data. The second concerns reserves of oil, and the third allows us to see how countries’ use is changing as their population changes over time. Some highlights:
- Many countries decreased the amount of oil imported in the last year of complete data (2009), probably due to the global recession. China and India are among the top importers bucking this trend.
- You can normalize imports/exports by population; this creates some interesting anomalies such as the Virgin Islands which have massive per capita imports of crude (and massive per capita exports of refined) due to the Hovensa oil refinery on St. Croix.
- On the second tab – everyone knows about the Middle East, but Canada, Venezuela, Libya and Nigeria have very significant reserves – selecting just a specific region allows exploration of each country
- If countries had to depend on their own reserves (assuming all oil is accessible, and consumption doesn’t change …) the results are surprising – the US has under three years of oil, whereas Chad has over 2050 left. Select the drop down to switch between years left and total reserves
- The third tab shows how consumption has changed with time and population. You can use the page controls to cycle through the years. Note the general upwards trend. Select just Asia and look at the tracks – how China’s population hasn’t grown as quite quickly as India’s, but consumption has increased much more. The size of the the mark is proportional to the consumption per capita – notice how small China’s is compared to Singapore’s
You can interact with the smaller version of the dashboard below, or go the full size one here.
Data was held in separate tables on the government website. I cleaned these in the excellent Data Wrangler, removing blank lines and reshaping the data so that the year was not held in separate columns. The resulting data was brought into Tableau and the tables tied together by establishing joins between the countries and years. This was much more efficient than using data blending techniques and quicker than making a master table. Only a little cleanup was needed in Tableau, mostly around country names (South Korea, Korea, South). Fifteen or so calculations were created, and advanced visualization techniques like bar charts in the tooltips created – hover over Canada for example (thank you Andy Cotgreave).