The U.S. is expected to export more energy than it imports by 2020, a first since the 1950s, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Tuesday.
The country has imported more energy than it exports on an annual basis since 1953, however, trade volumes were much smaller over that decade, the EIA said.
Since then, U.S. total energy imports grew steadily and peaked in 2005. Total energy exports bottomed in 2002 but started rising in 2018 with increasing exports of crude oil and natural gas.
"The U.S. began exporting more natural gas than it imports in 2017, and is projected to export more petroleum and other liquids than it imports within the decade," the statement said.
"The U.S. will export more energy than it imports by 2020 as increases in crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas plant liquids production outpace growth in U.S. energy consumption," it added.
After 2020, the country is expected to export more petroleum and other liquids than it imports, since crude oil production is set to increase and domestic consumption of petroleum products is anticipated to decrease, according to the EIA.
- Natural gas
U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to more overseas destinations will become increasingly dominant in natural gas trade through 2020, the EIA said.
"As natural gas demand grows in Asia and U.S. natural gas prices remain competitive, LNG export capacity increases further before leveling off after 2030 when additional suppliers enter the global LNG market and U.S. LNG is no longer as competitive," the statement said.
The country's natural gas trade also includes pipeline shipments from and to Canada, and to Mexico.
Natural gas trade with these countries depends on pipeline infrastructure and the amount of natural gas-fired power generation.
The EIA said it anticipates the U.S. will continue exporting more coal than it imports through 2050.
However, it said coal exports would not increase because of competition from other global suppliers closer to major world markets.
In electricity trade, the administration noted that trade in this area with its neighbors, Canada and Mexico, constitutes only a relatively small part of the U.S.' total net energy trade.
By Ovunc Kutlu