The U.S.' crude oil exports increased by 200% in the first half of 2019, compared to the same period of 2018, the country's Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a statement on Thursday.
Exports of crude oil averaged 2.9 million barrels per day (bpd) in the first half of this year, from 966,000 bpd from the first half of last year, the EIA said.
U.S. crude oil exports also set a record high monthly average of 3.2 million bpd in June 2019, according to the EIA. This record in June also saw the U.S. overtake Saudi Arabia as the world's top oil exporter, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its Oil Market Report for September released on Sept. 12.
Due to a self-imposed ban after the OPEC oil crisis in 1973, the U.S. did not export domestically produced crude oil until December 2015 when former President Barack Obama lifted the four-decades-old ban.
Much of ban lift was due to the shale oil revolution in the country, which enabled the U.S. to increase its crude oil production from 5 million bpd in 2018 to 10.99 million bpd in 2018 -- an 120% increase.
Canada remained the top destination for U.S. crude oil exports in the first half of 2019, while crude exports to other major destinations have also increased, the EIA said.
The top destinations for U.S. crude oil exports were Asia and Oceania at 1.3 million bpd in the first half of this year, it said.
"U.S. crude oil exports to these countries collectively increased by 472,000 bpd, or 58%, compared with the same period in 2018, and exports to countries such as South Korea, India, and Taiwan more than doubled," the statement read.
China, however, has been an exception in this case, due to imposed tariffs as part of the trade war between the U.S. and China.
"U.S. crude oil exports to China in the first half of 2019 averaged 248,000 bpd, or 64% less than the same period last year," the statement said.
Crude oil exports of the U.S. to western European countries averaged 824,000 bpd in the first half of 2019, which was 66% more than in the first half of 2018, the EIA said.
During that period, exports to the Netherlands increased 173,000 bpd, or 192%, while exports to the U.K. rose 74,000 bpd, or 53%, according to the administration.
By Ovunc Kutlu