Sunday, February 18, 2007

US Military Energy Consumption – Data Issues

As I mentioned in my earlier posts anyone who digs in the detailed US military oil consumption statistics is destined to lose a lot of hair.

That is why I warn beforehand that this post is very boring and may cause losing hair.

Now, let me list the data sources and problems for compiling US military oil consumption statistics.

1. Defense Energy Support Center (DESC)

Defense Energy Support Center’s (DESC) Factbook for each Fiscal Year.[1] DESC is a part of Defense Logistic Agency. The latest available Factbook is for Fiscal Year 2005.

DESC Factbook (not easy read publication) contains information on Net Sales, Purchases, Costs and contract awards. There is a lot of detailed info on contract awards CONUS (continental US, meaning 50 states plus territories) and OCONUS (outside Conus). Contract awards do not necessarily mean the amount sold. I said it is not an easy read.

DESC also publishes its own magazine called Fuel Line which sometimes has very good articles. In 2006 DESC had only three issues of the magazine. But when I looked at the site last time (18 February 2007) only the issues up to volume 1 in 2005 were listed. Whatever…

2. The DOD Annual Energy Management Report

Executive Order 13123 and Energy Policy Act of 2005 require Federal agencies to track and reduce their energy use in buildings and facilities. Accordingly the Federal Agencies in the US are required to submit their energy consumption in the Annual Energy Management Report. The Pentagon is no exception. The DoD Energy Management Report contains very detailed information. Be careful of revisions and tricks.[2]

With tricks I mean changing definitions. It used to list consumption and costs for four end-use sectors:

· Standard Buildings and Facilities,
· Industrial, Laboratory, Research, and Other Energy-Intensive Facilities,
· Exempt Facilities, and
· Non-Fleet Vehicles and Other Equipment

But starting from FY2006 it lists

· EPACT Goal Subject Buildings
· EPACT Goal excluded Facilities
· Non-Fleet Vehicles and Other Equipment

An extra attention should be pain on that Non-Fleet Vehicles. It used to be called tactical vehicles in FY2006. What does that mean? Fleet vehicles (such as passenger cars, busses, ambulances, trucks etc) are not included. Of course you would not want to exclude 2 million barrels of oil yearly consumed by fleet vehicles. For that you go to the next publication.

3. GSA Federal Fleet Report

US General Services Administration Federal Fleet Reports. The Federal Fleet Report is produced through the Federal Automotive Statistical Tool (FAST), an Internet-based application that collects fleet-related data from Federal agencies. You see the DOD fleet vehicles list by services and their energy consumption in that yearly report.

Under normal conditions the sum of DOD FEMR and GSA Federal Fleet Report should be equal to Department of Energy’s Annual Report to Congress on Federal Government Energy Management and Conservation Programs. But…

4. DOE Annual Report to Congress on Federal Government Energy Management and Conservation Programs

The submissions of Federal Agencies are standardized and provided on the Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program Website (FEMP) under DOE’s Annual Report to Congress.

DOE’s Annual Report to Congress on Federal Government Energy Management and Conservation Programs provides information on energy consumption in Federal buildings, operations, and vehicles and documents activities conducted by Federal agencies to meet the requirements of several government orders.

It is a very detailed report and contains time series for total energy consumption by Federal agencies (site delivered as well as primary energy). But to me the most important in that report is Table 6 (Federal petroleum usage in Fiscal Year in question).

It is (to my understanding) revised regularly to contain the most correct information.

5. EIA’s Annual Energy Review

EIA’s Annual Energy Review contains a few tables on DoD energy consumption:

Table 1.11 gives U.S. Government energy consumption by agency
Table 1.12 gives U.S. Government energy consumption by source.
Table 1.13 gives U.S. Government energy consumption by agency and source (for two years only, the latest year and a decade ago).

Note that the data given are for site delivered energy.[3] Data include energy consumed at foreign installations and in foreign operations, including aviation and ocean bunkering. Energy use for electricity generation and uranium enrichment is excluded.

The data given in AER should correspond to DOE’s Annual Report to Congress. This is the good news if you are looking for total energy consumption over a time period. But if you are interested in data by fuel and by year, you will have no luck.

If you are a good number cruncher you would never use data before reading what they mean. That is why you would look at the Glossary section of the AER. There it reads “Government buildings are included in commercial buildings, except buildings on military bases or reservations.” Himmm…This mean the US military oil consumption overseas is not there. Note that the term "United States" in AER means the 50 States and the District of Columbia and may also cover territories.

let us continue with Commercial Sector extra definition:

"....Depending on their recordkeeping practices, respondents may also include sales to homes on military bases, unless they are included separately in Military Use on surveys with a military use category.....Federal agency use of gasoline is excluded from the commercial sector."

Under the heading Commercial Sector it is also noted that the sector includes generators that produce electricity and/or useful thermal output primarily to support activities of the commercial establishment. Himmm….

Let us read Coverage of Electricity Statistics:

“Note 1. Coverage of Electricity Statistics. Through 1984, data for electric utilities also include institutions (such as universities) and military facilities that generated electricity primarily for their own use; beginning in 1985, data for electric utilities exclude institutions and military facilities.” Good.

Now have a look at the definition of Transportation Sector: “An energy-consuming sector that consists of all vehicles whose primary purpose is transporting people and/or goods from one physical location to another. Included are automobiles; trucks; buses; motorcycles; trains, subways, and other rail vehicles; aircraft; and ships, barges, and other waterborne vehicles. Vehicles whose primary purpose is not transportation (e.g., construction cranes and bulldozers, farming vehicles, and warehouse tractors and forklifts) are classified in the sector of their primary use.”

I admit that it is not very clear. That is why you go into help section where the sectors are defined. There it is stated that items included for the transportation sector are:

· Motor gasoline--On highway motor vehicle use and marine use;
· Distillate--Vessel bunkering, military use, railroad use, and on-highway use;
· Residual Fuel Oil--Vessel bunkering and military use;
· Jet fuel--Total production of kerosene-type jet fuel and naphtha-type jet fuel;
· Liquefied Petroleum Gas--On highway motor vehicle use.

Well, does that mean that military in fact is included in commerical sector but its transport fuel use is covered in transport sector?

O.K. I know that that’s enough.

Assume that you did your best and finally ended up with a most coherent and updated statistics. You think that you have a final figure on the US military oil consumption? No!

In the best case you fill have the following chart. What the chart shows is an important difference between what the DOD reports to the President as total DOD oil consumption and the DESC (part of DOD) says what it sold. Why is the difference? Where are those missing barrels?
Chart: The US Military oil consumption (in million barrels )

Source: Data complied from several DESC Factbooks, DOD and DOE FEMRs and 2006 GSA Fleet Report.

Well, one of the most reasons is transportation, ie, delivering the fuel to where it is consumed. Another most important reason is (I guess) incorrect accounting of oil consumed by the US military in overseas.

There is another data source which tries to track the US military oil consumption in the US. By using that you could have a very rough estimate of how much oil is consumed overseas. I might deal with that in another post. This one was already boring enough.

[1] Fiscal year is October 1 through September 30.


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