U.S. Becomes Net Oil Exporter For First Time In 75 Years

By Tsvetana Paraskova

The United States became a net oil exporter last week for the first time in 75 years, and even if it is likely to be for just one week, the achievement highlights the increasing global influence of the soaring U.S. crude oil production.

According to Bloomberg and data from the American Petroleum Institute, the United States had been a net oil importer since 1949.

In the week to November 30, however, the weekly U.S. net imports of crude oil and petroleum products were at minus 211,000 bpd—meaning that the U.S. was a net exporter of that amount, according to data from the EIA.

So far in 2018, the U.S. net oil imports have averaged around 2 million bpd, while the record net oil imports of 14.370 million bpd was set in November 2005.

In crude oil only, U.S. crude oil exports surged to a record high of 3.203 million bpd last week, as oil production also soars to record highs. According to weekly data from the EIA, U.S. crude oil production kept at a record 11.7 million bpd throughout November, although these numbers are likely to come off a bit in the monthly estimates. Production at 11.7 million bpd is more than what each of Russia and Saudi Arabia pumped in November, although the Saudis are also expected to have reached record highs in their production last month.

Saudi Arabia, as leader of OPEC, and Russia, its key partner in the production cut deal, are in the midst of deliberating new oil production cuts to rebalance an oversupplied market.

U.S. President Donald Trump continues to call on OPEC to keep oil prices low, because “The World does not want to see, or need, higher oil prices!”.

But a no-deal or an underwhelming agreement on Friday could send oil prices further down, potentially hurting production growth in the U.S. shale patch.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com