Road vehicles in the United States need 26 million gallons of crude oil from the Middle East to keep operating at full capacity each day.
GV American oil refinery (3 shots)
MV Traffic along roads (4 shots)
CU Sign "Out of gas rent a bike"
MV PAN Vehicles at filling station
SV Oil pump
AERIALS Vs Alaska oil field and drilling station (2 shots)
CU Pumps and MV (2 shots) at Elk Hills Petroleum Reserve field.
SV Elk Hill station
Initials BB/2341 NPJ/DE/BB/2352
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Road vehicles in the United States need 26 million gallons of crude oil from the Middle East to keep operating at full capacity each day. That is only five or six per cent of the country's daily fuel consumption.
But if the Arab oil producing countries carry out their threat to cut down on supplies progressively, the shortage would become serious. The United States' own production of oil is now running at about one hundred per cent capacity. There is no hope of getting oil from new domestic fields -- such as Alaska's North Slope -- for at least three years.
There is only one source that could make reserves immediately available to the United States. It is the Navy's Petroleum Reserve at Elk Hills, California, where the wells are full. The oil there has been saved for a military emergency.
The current oil situation was the main subject discussed by President Nixon on Wednesday (17 October) when he had talks with four Arab Foreign Ministers. The ministers were from Morocco, Kuwait, Algeria and Saudi Arabia. They also met Dr. Henry Kissinger, the Secretary of State, for talks at the State Department.