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U.S. Energy Exports Enjoy Record Week Amid Ukraine Crisis

The U.S. exported the most oil and petroleum products in history last week as countries across the world continue to work to replace Russian supplies in the wake of the Ukraine crisis, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). 

The United States’ crude and petroleum exports surged to an all-time weekly high of 10.6 million b/d during the week ending April 15, with the country’s exports outweighing its imports by the most ever in government data going back to 1990.  

Unlike its EU counterparts, the U.S. has never been heavily reliant on Russia for its energy imports, typically importing less than 3% of its need from Russia. Now, the United States is playing a major part in helping fill the gap left by mostly EU countries self-sanctioning against Russia's energy.

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The U.S. can thank that notable milestone after achieving the status of ‘the energy supplier of last resort’ after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine drove buyers to turn to it for everything from crude to motor fuel and liquefied natural gas. The majority of Western companies and trading firms have been pulling energy investments after multiple governments including the U.S., UK, and Canada imposed heavy sanctions on oil imports. 

“Strong exports have been driven by a pull to Europe and we should expect strength in the weeks ahead,” Matt Smith, oil analyst at market intelligence firm Kpler, has told Bloomberg.

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Appetite for U.S. diesel by Latin America as well as Europe has remained elevated. The surge in exports volumes across the board is also helping to drain U.S. inventories and driving prices up in an already supply-constrained market. Last week, U.S. crude stocks declined by more than 8 million barrels, the largest margin since January of 2021. 

Whereas demand for U.S. oil remains robust, traders expect exports are expected to remain strong heading into the summer with relatively weak prices for U.S. crude likely to draw in more buyers.

By Alex Kimani for Oilprice.com

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