U.S. crude oil exports rose to 591,000 barrels per day in April, up 83,000 barrels from March, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau on Friday.
The total figures are the highest since at least 1920, Rigzone reports.
A majority of the crude - 324,000 bpd of it - went to Canada, 90,000 more went to Curacao and 36,000 others went to the Bahamas.
The figures come almost six months after the U.S. government lifted restrictions on crude exports. Related: Does Iran Have The Upper Hand In OPEC Oil War
Three months after the authorities lifted the four-decade ban, the U.S. had exported less in the first quarter of 2016 than it did over the same period the year before, when the ban was still in place.
The immediate beneficiaries of the ban suspension are gas and oil companies such as Chevron and Exxon Mobil—among the most tireless lobbyers against the ban—and oil trading giants such as Vitol Group BV and Trafigura Ltd.
Exxon became the first U.S. oil company to export U.S. crude, sending a tanker from Texas to a refinery it owns in Italy.
Israel, China and other countries have also placed orders for energy supplies from American markets. Related: Oil Up As Global Outages Seriously Impact Crude Supplies
Europe and Asia are flooded with oil from Russia and the Middle East, though the first two shipments to leave the U.S. post-export ban went to Europe: one to Germany and the other to France, to be used in a refinery in Switzerland. Dutch media outlets reported in January that a tanker from Houston had reached Rotterdam port, but this remains just a drop in the global export bucket.
The Census releases international oil trade data weeks earlier than the U.S. Energy information Administration. The EIA uses the Census’ data to price its analysis, which will be released at the end of this month.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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