The United States, in the week ending Nov. 30, exported more crude oil and petroleum products than it imported for the first time in weekly data dating back to 1991, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Between Nov. 24 and Nov. 30, the United States exported an estimated record 3.2 million barrels per day of crude oil and an estimated 5.8 million barrels per day of petroleum products, including distillate fuel oil, motor gasoline and propane.
Imports of crude oil have been declining while exports of crude oil and petroleum products have been rising. Between 2005 and 2014, gross crude oil imports fell 27.7% to 7.3 million barrels per day, from 10.1 million barrels per day. Imports have since risen to about 8 million barrels per day in 2017. Also, U.S. crude oil production has been rising, and in September, U.S. crude oil production was a record 11.5 million barrels per day.
Meanwhile, U.S. refinery runs have reached record-high levels. The rise in refinery output of petroleum products has exceeded U.S. consumption levels of the products, including distillate fuel oil, gasoline and propane, and this has led to a rise in exports of the products.
However, the United States continues to import more crude oil than it exports. In September, the most recent monthly data, the United States imported 7.6 million barrels per day of crude oil and exported 2.1 million barrels per day of crude oil. In 2017, the United States was the net exporter of motor gasoline, distillate, hydrocarbon gas liquids and jet fuel.
China received the second-largest amount of U.S. crude oil exports in 2017, receiving 221,000 barrels per day, or 19% of the exports. The United States didn’t export any crude oil to China in August and September after U.S. crude oil was subject to increased import tariffs. In February 2017, China received more crude oil exports than Canada, and it was the first time that a country other than Canada received more U.S. crude oil exports in a month. China also received more of the exports than Canada in October 2017 and three months in 2018. Exports to countries in Asia, including Taiwan and South Korea, and India in August and September have partially offset the drop in exports to China.