In recent years, the United States has been able to become a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products for the first time in its history, thanks to the rapid growth of domestic oil production from unusual deposits. However, with the advent of the corona virus epidemic, domestic production has plummeted due to the fall in oil prices, and according to government agency forecasts, the country will now be a net importer again, at least until the end of next year.

The United States has long been a net exporter in terms of the balance of extraction and trade in crude oil and its products. However, in recent years, thanks to the development of shale extraction, the country has become the largest oil producer in the world. As for crude oil, the United States continued to be a net importer, but thanks to exports of petroleum products such as fuel oil, LPG and petrol, it became a net exporter on an annual basis for the first time last year.

However, the fall in oil prices has led to a significant decline in domestic production and a resurgence in oil imports, given the sharp fall in demand caused by measures to control the spread of the corona virus epidemic. According to estimates by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), a government agency Net imports are expected to continue to grow in the coming years, from an average of 2.7 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2020 to 3.7 million bpd this year and 4.4 million bpd in 2022.

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Development of trade balance of crude oil and petroleum products. Source: EIA

In contrast to crude oil extraction, net exports of petroleum products last year remained virtually unchanged, rising slightly from an average of 3.2 million pp in 2019 to 3.4 million pp last year. In anticipation of global demand for petroleum products, U.S. exports are expected to continue to grow this year and next.

Although the EIA expects a gradual recovery in domestic production as oil prices recover, it is unlikely that record values ​​will be reached before the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic in the future. According to the agency, crude oil production in the United States is expected to reach 11.3 million ppm by the end of this year and 11.9 million pp by the end of 2022. This is a significant increase compared to the latest official data of 11.1 million ppd for November 2020, but it is below the record value of 12.9 million ppd since November 2019.

Quarterly growth of domestic crude oil extraction and its imports to the United States.  Source: EIA
Quarterly growth of domestic crude oil extraction and its imports to the United States. Source: EIA

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