IHS: U.S. to be net exporter of petroleum by 2020s

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Rye Druzin | Houston Chronicle | November 14, 2018

A new report says the U.S. will become a net exporter of petroleum by the early 2020s, the first time since the country would achieve such a feat since at least 1949.

Research firm IHS Markit says continued growth in U.S. production of crude oil and natural gas liquids will push the country toward becoming a net exporter of petroleum, which the firm says included refined products like gasoline.

The report examines how growing U.S. shale oil and gas resources have lowered the trade deficit by an estimated $250 billion in 2017 compared to if U.S. petroleum production had stayed at 2007 figures. The U.S. shale oil and gas industry began growing in earnest soon after 2007.

In 2007 U.S. crude oil production was nearly 5.1 million barrels a day. Ten years later, production had grown to 9.4 million barrels a day. The Energy Department recently estimated that U.S. output has reached 11.6 million barrels a day.

Exports have increased exponentially from just 27,000 barrels a day in 2007 to nearly 1.2 million barrels a day in 2017, according to data from the Department of Energy.

In 2017 the U.S. was a net exporter of natural gas, natural gas liquids such as propane and butane, and refined products. IHS data show crude oil imports declining from more than 10 million barrels a day in 2007 to 7 million barrels a day.