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U.S. oil export exceeds import, first time in decades

Staff Writer |
The United States became a net exporter of crude oil and refined fuels last week for the first time in decades with a net export at 211,000 barrels per day.

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For the week through Nov. 30, the United States imported about 8.8 million barrels of crude oil and refined fuels per day, and exported about 9 million barrels per day, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Analysts say the shift could be temporary, considering the volatility in weekly figures.

The EIA data showed that the United States has been a net oil importer since 1973 while Bloomberg cited oil historians as saying that it could go back even further to 1949 based on statistics from the American Petroleum Institute.

So far in 2018, the country has recorded an average daily net imports of about 3 million barrels of crude and refined products. The figure had peaked in the first week of November 2005, when average daily net imports reached more than 14 million barrels.

The gap between U.S. oil imports and exports has been on a downward trajectory in recent years, resulting from a boom in shale production, as companies use fracking to extract oil in Texas, North Dakota and other states. The surging shale production has made the United States the world's largest petroleum producer, exceeding Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Oil prices extended their losses on Thursday, as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) wrapped up a much-anticipated meeting with no decision on a potential output cut.

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