U.S. Petroleum Exports Exceed Imports For Month Of September
WASHINGTON–Petroleum exports from the United States exceeded imports for the month of September, the first month this has happened since monthly record keeping began in 1973, the U.S. Energy Information Administration says.
The United States imported 260.0 million barrels of crude oil and petroleum products in September while exporting a total of 262.7 MMbbl, EIA details. It says long-running changes in U.S. trade patterns for both crude oil and petroleum products led to a steady decrease in overall net imports and the month’s 89,000 barrel a day difference.
According to the agency, increasing domestic crude oil production, which rose from an average of 5.3 MMbbl/d in 2009 to 12.1 MMbbl/d in 2019 is responsible for slashing crude oil imports from 9.0 MMbbl/d a decade ago to 7.0 MMbbl/d in 2019. It adds the decrease in volume corresponds with a decline in the number of sources from which the United States imports oil.
The United States lifted restrictions on exporting domestically produced crude oil in December 2015. Since then, EIA says, domestic crude exports have been the largest contributor to the nation’s export growth, with oil exports expanding from 591,000 bbl/d in 2016 to 2.8 MMbbl/d in September.
“Despite increasing exports of crude oil, however, the United States remains a net importer of crude oil,” the agency writes. “The United States continues importing primarily heavy high-sulfur crude oils that most U.S. refineries are configured to process, and more than 60% of U.S. crude imports come from Canada and Mexico.”
At the same time, U.S. refineries responded to increasing domestic and international demand for petroleum products, including distillate fuel, motor gasoline and jet fuel, by increasing throughput, EIA says. Gross inputs into U.S. refineries rose from an annual average of 14.6 MMbbl/d in 2009 to 17.0 MMbbl/d through the third quarter of 2019. This increase has outpaced U.S. consumption, leading to an increase in petroleum product exports.
EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook predicts U.S. net petroleum exports will continue to increase, averaging 751,000 bbl/d in 2020. If realized, it says, the United States would be a net petroleum exporter for the first time on an annual basis.