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October 24, 2008
The world according to energy

Crude oil prices fell below $60 a barrel on Nov. 11. The drop marks a 20-month low and raises concerns of an impending recession.

Watch an interview with Peter Coy of Business Week magazine about the effects of the price plunge.

On Dec. 17, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Companies (OPEC) is scheduled to meet to assess the international oil market situation. OPEC slashed oil production by 1.5 million barrels per day on Oct. 24, attempting to stabilize free-falling oil prices.

With resources dwindling, energy dominates many political and economic debates. Our Interactive map illustrates worldwide distribution and consumption of natural resources like oil, natural gas, biofuels and water. It answers some fundamental questions about global energy:

Which countries use the most resources?
Which countries produce the most?
What countries are exploring the use of biofuels?

For instance, each day the U.S. produces 7.46 million barrels of oil — more in volume than that of the Empire State Building — but this production provides for only 30 percent of America’s oil consumption.

So, where does the rest come from? North American neighbors Mexico and Canada are also top oil producers, shipping much of their oil to the U.S. A “click” around the world shows that the greatest producer of oil is Saudi Arabia — another major source of American oil.

Click on Japan and you’ll see that it’s a top consumer of oil, natural gas and freshwater, but does not have significant reserves for these resources. Which neighboring countries have the resources Japan needs? Which countries may be competing for these resources?

The map is interactive, which means you can click on its countries and resources. Use the arrows or click and drag to move around the globe, or click on the home icon to return to the full world map. For more information about the icons and coloring, visit the “key” located in the lower left-hand corner.

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One of the people we’re following on Twitter is “winland,” who posted an interesting article about Alberta’s “dirty oil” sands:

– bijan,

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