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The U.S. Just Became A Net Oil Exporter For The First Time Ever

The United States exported more crude oil and petroleum products than it imported in September 2019—the first month in which America was a net petroleum exporter since monthly records began in 1973, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Thursday.  

In September 2019, the U.S. exported 89,000 barrels per day (bpd) more crude oil and petroleum products than it imported, due to surging U.S. crude oil production and the lifting of export restrictions in 2015, and to continuously growing oil products output and exports, the EIA said.

Just a decade ago, the U.S. was importing 10 million bpd more crude oil and petroleum products than it was exporting. Those tables have now turned.

Growing U.S. crude oil production and exports have resulted in America selling oil to more destinations around the world than the number of countries from which it imports crude oil, the EIA said in October. A decade ago, the United States was importing crude oil from as many as 37 foreign sources per month, and its exports were restricted almost exclusively to Canada. After the lifting of those restrictions at the end of 2015, U.S. crude oil exports have been on the rise and reaching more destinations.

The U.S. continues to import more crude oil than it exports, but it exports more petroleum products than it imports, as U.S. refineries continue to raise their gross inputs of crude oil and produce and export more petroleum products such as jet fuel, gasoline, and distillate fuel.

Because the rise in refinery production has outpaced U.S. oil product consumption, America has been exporting more petroleum products in recent years. The U.S. was a net petroleum product importer of 698,000 bpd in 2009, while so far this year, America has been a net petroleum product exporter of 3.2 million bpd, the EIA data shows.   

The EIA forecast in its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) that U.S. net petroleum exports will continue to grow and average 751,000 bpd in 2020.

“If realized, the United States would be a net petroleum exporter for the first time on an annual basis,” the EIA said today. 

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.  More