Energy Export Databrowser

Jonathan Callahan, a Ph.D. chemist who spent 12 years working for NOAA, has created a very useful databrowser for exploring the supply/demand situation in various countries around the world. Based on BP’s 2007 Statistical Review, it provides a quick and easy way to see the trends for whether countries are consuming or producing, importing or exporting crude oil and natural gas. The tool may be found at Energy Export Databrowser.

How useful is this tool? It took me about 5 seconds to pull up the following graphic for crude oil trends in the U.S.:

The databrowser contains over 80 countries. The strength of the tool is that it groups a lot of valuable information in one place, and makes it easily accessible. So, the next time someone asks you how much oil Gabon produces, in about 15 seconds you can tell them that Gabon produces a little over 200,000 bbl/day, down 0.2% from the previous year – and that it looks like their production has peaked.

Jonathan informs me that he is looking for constructive feedback so he can make the tool even better. He said he will monitor comments, but can also be reached at mazamascience “at” gmail “dot” com.

16 thoughts on “Energy Export Databrowser”

  1. This is a fabulous tool. Thank you Jonathan Callhan, and thank you Robert Rapier for pointing it out.

    There are lots of things I’d love to see, mostly involving where energy comes from and goes and then those numbers broken down by different metrics namely per captia, GDP and delivered energy cost.

    However based on BP’s data I wonder if it would be possible to color code the import by country and export by country. For example seeing that XX% of Venezuela’s export for to the US and XX% goes somewhere else. Also seeing the XX% of US Import is from Iran, etc…

  2. Robert,ethanol is a lot more competitive than it was in the past. I’ve heard ethanol is 25% less efficient in older vehicles,but even that would make $4 gas more expensive than $2.75 ethanol,no? Check out the widening spread between ethanol and regular unleaded over the last year. At this rate,only a fool would buy something that didn’t use E85. Even if there’s a few pennies difference,I’d rather support Iowa farmers than Ahwannajihad over in Iran.

  3. There are no public E85 fueling stations within 330 miles of my home (that’s the range my car gets on a tank of gasoline. I’m sure it would not go as far on E85). I see no benefit to me in buying a flex fuel car. Also, the spread is still less than 25% here in California, far from the corn states.

    But if the corn farmers run their tractors on E85, that’s great. No need to truck the stuff a thousand miles cross country just so I can have access to E85.

  4. Nice data browser. I like how the country being looked at is highlighted. However, I found that I also wanted to see the entire globe colored red and green by country, with various shades of darker and lighter reds and greens depending on what percentage of oil or NG was imported or exported.

  5. Or maybe a choice between seeing percentages or seeing total volume.

    I also found myself wondering why US consumption of natural gas has gone down these past few years, but that is beyond the scope of the data.

  6. jb510’s comment made me think of this website.
    One could do something similar with the energy export data. The circles would be countries. The width of the lines between countries could represent the volume of trade. The lines could be colored or have arrowheads to show which direction the oil or NG is going. Countries could still be colored dark and light reds and greens depending on how much they export or import. To not have lines criss-crossing everywhere, only the import export lines for the chosen country would be shown.

    The size of the circles could represent the volume each country consumes.
    This reminds me of cartograms, such as
    where the size of each country is proportional to its fuel use.
    You could even do a morphing animation similar to
    but each frame of the animation could represent a different year.
    Apparently there are some freeware cartogram generators out there.
    Then again, the distortions could make the map look unrecognizable
    If you included that, it should probably be something one could turn off for a more normal view. Maybe it’s too complicated and makes the data less accessible.

    Hah. After all that, I think I finally understand what jb510 is suggesting, and I like it better than the ideas in this particular comment of mine.

  7. Cool. That link made me notice that the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2008 is out now.
    Global oil consumption grew by nearly 1 mb/d, or 1.1% growth in 2007 over 2006 levels.

  8. clee,racing fuel isn’t for everyone. Most cars do just fine on 87 octane. Still,if you could buy 115 octane for the same or less,who wouldn’t? Dozens of E85 pumps are going up every day. Eventually,there will be one near you. I don’t know about E85 tractors. It’s hard enough getting the cars made. I do know some farmers make their own ethanol. Ethanol only displaces 5 or 6% of U.S. gas consumption right now. Still,you have to wonder how much higher gas prices would be without that little bit of help. A tsetse fly passes gas in Nigeria,and oil jumps another $5 a barrel.

  9. I don’t think I’d buy 93 octane or 115 octane if it cost the same as regular. I don’t fall for marketing gimmicks. If my car’s not pinging, going to higher octane or adding racing stripes to my car will not make it perform better, go faster or get better mileage. I’m not going to buy 115 octane for less $/gal than regular gasoline if it means it costs more in $/mile because it has fewer BTUs/gallon.

  10. Maybe they should sell ethanol in units that reflect its energy clee. 5/4th’s of a gallon. Or 4/3rd’s or whatever would make it the gas equivalent. Either way,it would be competitive with current gas prices. And yeah,it should be right there next to regular,leaded,and premium. We could call it super-duper deluxe premium…LOL.

  11. I like small hatchbacks. If it were my choice, my next car would probably be a Honda Fit at 31.6 mpg, which at $4.29/gal (in Tulare, CA last week) would get cost me 14 cents/mile. As the spouse wants a geek car, we expect our next car to be a Prius at 46 mpg, or 9 cents/mile. I’d buy these cars if they were flex fuel cars. But no one’s offering me a small hatchback flex fuel car. The 2008 model with the best E85 fuel economy I can find at gets 16 miles per E85 gallon. At $3.59/gal E85(in Tulare, CA last week), that would be 22 cents/mile. No thanks. If only fuel guzzlers are made into flex fuel cars, I don’t want them.

  12. I’ve heard ethanol is 25% less efficient in older vehicles,but even that would make $4 gas more expensive than $2.75 ethanol,no?

    That’s E85, which is not straight ethanol. Straight ethanol has 67% of the BTUs of gasoline. Further, $4 gas is not the rack price. The rack price of gasoline right now is around $3.40.

    Even if there’s a few pennies difference,I’d rather support Iowa farmers than Ahwannajihad over in Iran.

    That’s just the thing. It’s a false dichotomy. Because the energy balance of ethanol is so poor, you are supporting both. The ethanol producer/corn farmer relies on the Irans of the world to make their product.

    Ethanol only displaces 5 or 6% of U.S. gas consumption right now.

    It’s nowhere close to that. On a straight BTU basis, it’s something like 3%. But back out the fossil fuel that went into making the ethanol, and it’s less than 1%.


  13. RR, I was trying to find this page by typing in the beginning of the URL and hoping my browser would fill in the rest. It couldn’t find it because it’s got /2007/ in the URL instead of /2008/. You might want to fix that. Thanks.

  14. Can’t fix it. I originally backdated the story by a year, so I could let Jonathan look at it and see that I had it all correct. But that created the permanent URL. So, whenever I updated the date, it kept the URL. The only way to fix that is to delete the story and recreate it, but I would lose all the comments.


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