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US Returns to Being a Net Oil Exporter

Thanks to the shale oil revolution, for the first time since the 1940s, the United States exported more oil than it imported last September. In that month, U.S. exports of crude oil and refined products exceeded imports by 89,000 barrels a day, according to EIA statistics. This marks a significant turning point, for only a decade ago, American oil imports exceeded exports by a hefty 12 million barrels a day. Commenting on this change, Bob McNally, a former energy consultant to President George W. Bush and president of the consulting firm Rapidan Energy Group, said,  “the U.S. return to being a net exporter serves to remind how the oil industry can deliver surprises — in this case, the shale oil revolution — that upend global oil prices, production, and trade flows.”

The International Energy Agency (IEA) believes the U.S. is on track to become a sustained net oil exporter in either late 2020 or early 2021. It forecast an increase in U.S. exports of crude and refined products from 550,000 b/d in October 2019 to average 750,000 b/d in 2020. This uptick will have a positive impact on the U.S. trade balance.  In 2018, th U.S.petroleum trade deficit stood at $62 billion or 10 percent of the country’s trade balance according to Rystad Energy. Thanks to the ongoing growth in shale tight oil, the U.S. could enjoy a petroleum trade surplus in 2020. Read more

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