United States: The World's Newest Major Exporter of Crude Oil

In June, US crude oil exports reached historic levels at nearly 2.2 million barrels per day (b/d), a level similar to that of Nigeria and Iran. From 1975 until late 2015, a federal ban on the export of US crude oil severely restricted crude oil exports to all countries except Canada. By lifting the ban, the US Government has transformed the United States into a major exporter of crude oil and a force that is reshaping global oil markets.
  • To date in 2018, the United States has averaged more than 1.7 million b/d of crude oil exports while continuing to import an average of 7.9 million b/d.
  • Although Canada remains an important consumer of US crude oil—second only to China—the repeal of the crude oil ban has allowed US exporters to expand to nearly 30 countries.
  • The US shale oil boom in the early years of this decade provided US refiners with high quality, discounted crudes that they were then able to sell into the export market. As a result, finished petroleum product exports have also jumped, increasing from about 1 million b/d prior to the shale boom up to 5.5 million b/d in first half of 2018.


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