The US exported more crude oil and petroleum products than it imported during the first half of 2021, according to the latest data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
In the first half of the year, the US exported 120,000 more barrels per day (bpd) than imports.
The US has been a net importer of crude oil and petroleum products in the first of half of each year until the first half of 2020 when the country became a net exporter, exporting 432,000 barrels per day more of crude oil and petroleum products, data from the agency’s Petroleum Supply Monthly report showed.
This year marks only the second time the US has been a net total petroleum exporter in the first half of the year, despite the fact that it has been a net exporter of petroleum products alone since 2011.
The US exports more refined petroleum products than it does crude oil. Petroleum product exports averaged 5.5 million bpd in the first half of 2021, up from 5.3 million bpd in the first half of last year. Exports of petroleum products include motor gasoline, distillate, and propane exports. Both imports and exports of select petroleum products are mainly consumed as transportation fuels—distillate fuel oil, motor gasoline, and jet fuel, which decreased in 2020 compared with 2019.
In the first half of 2021, both imports and exports of petroleum products increased above their levels in the first halves of 2020 and 2019.
The country imports more crude oil than it does petroleum products. It was a net importer of 2.9 million bpd of crude oil in the first half of 2021. Net imports of crude oil have decreased in the first half of every year since 2017, primarily reflecting increasing US exports of crude oil since the end of the US crude oil export ban in 2015.
Gross US crude oil exports in the first half of 2021 averaged 3 million bpd, down from 3.2 million bpd in the first half of last year. This decrease was the first time exports fell since the end of the export ban in 2015 and was likely driven by lower crude oil production, which decreased substantially in 2020 because of economic responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gross US crude oil imports also fell, declining from 6.2 million bpd in the first half of 2020 to 5.9 million bpd in the first half of 2021.
By Sibel Morrow