For the first time in 75 years, the United States exported more oil than it imported, carrying out a pledge from President Trump that America can achieve “energy independence.”
While the U.S. has been a net oil importer since 1949, over the final week of November, U.S. net imports of crude oil and petroleum products fell to minus 211,000 barrels per day (bpd) — which means America exported more than it imported, according to data from U.S. Energy Information and Administration.
Oil production has been booming in the U.S. as the shale revolution swept the nation. America is now the world’s largest producer of petroleum, passing Russia and Saudi Arabia. As the U.S. oil boom spread, the power of OPEC was reduced and gas prices in the U.S. have dropped from the $4+ highs under former president Barack Obama.
Net imports peaked in 2005, topping 14 million bpd, but in the last few months, the U.S. has imported an average of 2 million bpd. U.S. production has more than doubled since 2012 because of the new technologies for extracting oil.
“U.S. crude exports are poised to rise even further, with new pipelines from the Permian in the works and at least nine terminals planned that will be capable of loading supertankers,” Bloomberg reports. “The only facility currently able to load the largest ships, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, is on pace to load more oil in December than it has in any other month.”
The shift to net exports is the dramatic result of an unprecedented boom in American oil production, with thousands of wells pumping from the Permian region of Texas and New Mexico to the Bakken in North Dakota to the Marcellus in Pennsylvania. …
The massive Permian may be even bigger than previously thought. The Delaware Basin, the less drilled part of the field, holds more than twice the amount of crude as its sister, the Midland Basin, the U.S. Geological Service said Thursday.
Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency said in its latest World Energy Outlook “that the United States will be the biggest contributor to the oil market, accounting for almost 75 percent of global oil production growth in the period to 2040,” Epoch Times reported.
The news about the United States becoming a net oil exporter was largely ignored last week, as markets were obsessed with the OPEC meeting in Vienna.
“While there is so much focus on the drama in the OPEC cartel, the real historic news that went unnoticed was that the United States last week exported more crude oil and fuel than it imported for the first time on record,” Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago, wrote in an email.
OPEC, the massive oil cartel in the Middle East, voted Friday to cut oil output by 1.2 million bpd for the first six months of 2019. The move is an effort to push prices up.
Trump, though, called on OPEC and Saudi Arabia not to restrict oil production. “Hopefully OPEC will be keeping oil flows as is, not restricted. The World does not want to see, or need, higher oil prices!” he wrote on Twitter last Wednesday.