Gasoline accounted for almost half of US petroleum consumption in 2019, the country's Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a statement on Monday.
Last year, motor gasoline accounted for approximately 45% of petroleum products consumed in the US, the EIA said.
Petroleum was also the largest primary source of energy consumed in the US in 2019, accounting for 37% of total energy consumed, it added.
In 2019, the US consumed more than 20 million barrels per day (bpd) of petroleum, while petroleum production, which includes crude oil, lease condensate, and natural gas liquids, reached a record high level of 17 million bpd.
However, the US continued to import more petroleum than it exported on average in 2019. It exported a record volume of 8.5 million bpd although imports exceeded this level at more than 9 million bpd.
The only period when the US exported more crude oil and petroleum products than it imported occurred during the fourth quarter of 2019, according to the EIA.
The US' crude oil exports increased significantly since 2016 onwards after former President Barack Obama in late 2015 lifted the self-imposed ban on domestically produced crude that was in place since the 1970s.
In 2019, US exports of crude oil reached a record high of nearly 3 million bpd, up about 45% from 2018, the EIA said.
"Most crude oil is refined and processed into petroleum products used for transportation, such as motor gasoline, distillate fuel oil (diesel), and jet fuel. About 69% of all petroleum products were consumed in the transportation sector in 2019," the statement read.
Motor gasoline has been the most-consumed petroleum product in the US since at least 1949, the earliest year the EIA held data. Distillate fuel oil has been the second-most consumed petroleum product since 1953 when it surpassed residual fuel oil, it added.
Petroleum is produced from the ground as crude oil or is separated from natural gas as natural gas liquids, and then is processed at refineries to make many different consumable petroleum products, such as motor gasoline, diesel, propane, and jet fuel, the EIA explained.
The US consumes more petroleum than it produces, while the rest is supplied by imports from other countries plus from domestic stock inventories saved for later use, it added.
By Ovunc Kutlu