Net energy imports fall 35% as energy exports rise 27%

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 154 views 

U.S. net energy imports declined 35% to 7.3 quadrillion British thermal units (quads) in 2017, from 2016, falling to the lowest level since 1982, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In 1982, net energy imports were 7.25 quads.

Gross energy imports have decreased from a high of 34.7 quads in 2007, but net energy imports have fallen largely because energy exports have risen. In 2017, the exports increased 27% to 18 quads, from 2016, and it was the highest annual level of exports on record.

“Increasing U.S. energy exports have been driven largely by increases in exports of petroleum products and natural gas,” according to the EIA. “In recent years, exports of crude oil have also contributed to the overall rise in energy exports after crude oil export restrictions were lifted at the end of 2015. In energy content terms, the United States now exports nearly as much energy in the form of crude oil (2.3 quads) as coal (2.5 quads).”

U.S. crude oil exports increased 89% in 2017, from 2016. Following are other year-over-year increases in fossil fuel exports: petroleum products, 11%; natural gas, 36%; and coal, 61%. Petroleum products, such as gasoline, distillate fuel, propane and other fuels comprise of 54% of U.S. energy exports, the largest share of the exports. The United States became a net exporter of petroleum products in 2011 and natural gas in 2017. Also in 2017, the United States was a net exporter of coal, coal coke, petroleum products and biomass but a net importer of crude oil.

Net imports declined in 2017 as U.S. energy production rose. Renewable energy production increased 8%, especially hydropower and wind. Following are other year-over-year energy production increases: coal, 6%; natural gas plant liquids, 6%; crude oil, 5%; and natural gas 1%. U.S. energy consumption was flat from 2016.