The U.S.’s rise as an oil producer is well-documented, but the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest report marks another milestone for the domestic sector.
According to the EIA, the U.S. now exports crude oil to more nations than it imports from.
In 2009, the U.S. imported oil from as many as 37 sources in a given month, according to the EIA. Meanwhile, through the first seven months of 2019, the largest number of import sources in a given month was 27.
In terms of exports, the U.S. exported oil to as many as 31 destinations per month through the first seven months of 2019.
“This rise in U.S. export destinations coincides with the late 2015 lifting of restrictions on exporting domestic crude oil,” the EIA said. “Before the restrictions were lifted, U.S. crude oil exports almost exclusively went to Canada. Between January 2016 (the first full month of unrestricted U.S. crude oil exports) and July 2019, U.S. crude oil production increased by 2.6 million b/d, and export volumes increased by 2.2 million b/d.”
Demand abroad for light-sweet crude oil has fueled the U.S.’s rise as an oil exporter.
“Several infrastructure changes have allowed the United States to export this crude oil,” the EIA said. “New, expanded, or reversed pipelines have been delivering crude oil from production centers to export terminals. Export terminals have been expanded to accommodate greater crude oil tanker traffic, larger crude oil tankers, and larger cargo sizes.”
As noted in MetalMiner’s Annual Outlook, in addition to the strength of the U.S. dollar and China’s economy, oil prices constitute a key price driver for metals.
OPEC’s daily basket price reached $59.50 per barrel on Monday.
According to a Reuters report, OPEC and its allies are considering whether to extend previously agreed upon supply curbs in an effort to support flagging oil prices.