Skip to comments.US net imports down, exports soar; just another day at the office
Posted on 03/02/2014 3:08:32 PM PST by thackney
A few eye-popping numbers were in the EIA monthly report on US oil use in December. It shows the shale gale in full bloom.
US total net imports were 5.057 million b/d. Thats down about 1 million b/d from a year ago. Its down about 3.4 million b/d from three years ago. Its down more than 8 million b/d from the all-time high of 13.354 million b/d in October 2005. Its easily the lowest in the post-shale era.
Take away the Canadian net import figure of 2.602 million b/d, and youre dealing with what might be called at-risk net import dependence of just under 2.5 million b/d. Thats in a country that had products supplied of 19.081 million b/d in December, up about 1 million b/d from the end of 2012. So US net import dependence continues to slide, and demand continues to rise.
Crude exports were 190,000 b/d, all of it to Canada. Its a healthy number, but it isnt a record.
Total exports of all crude and products were a staggering 4.44 million b/d. Three years ago, they were almost 2 million b/d less than that. The figure for December is a record, by almost half a million barrels per day. The US exported more petroleum products than all but three countries in the worldSaudi Arabia, Russia and the US itselfactually produce in the form of crude.
Whats interesting about the export figure are the smaller areas of exports, not the big categories that have steadily driven US exports over the past few years. Total distillate exports of 1.232 million b/d were less than the July record figure of 1.383 million b/d; gasoline exports of 576,000 b/d were close to a record. But the US exported record amounts of gasoline blending components (192,000 b/d, previous record 141,000 b/d a month earlier); special naphthas (250,000 b/d; it had never even been six figures before, and some analysts have been predicting for awhile that changes in the gravity of the average barrel, combined with the ethane glut, was going to lead to the US being extremely long naphtha); and petroleum coke, one of the highest ever at 577,000 b/d.
Refinery runs cranked away at 92%. Thats not surprising; the US exported 4.254 million b/d of products, and you cant do that unless your refineries are operating at a high level. The run rate isnt a recordthere have been a few times in history where it exceeded 95%but it is clearly on the high side. Its the highest rate for a December since 2004. For the year, US refineries ran on average at 88.3%, just a touch more than a 10-year average run rate that was slightly less than 88%.
So we’re just a hair below true “energy independence”?, the vaunted goal lo these many years? And it’s because of fracking technologies? IOW the free markets found a solution while all the gubbermint did was make things harder?
Build the Keystone pipeline and another 650,000 b/d moves out of the “at risk” column.
5 million barrels per day is a pretty thick hair.
True enough, but we’re already at the level where we have no true strategic energy vulnerability to non-Canadian foreign powers. They could totally cut us off and we’d need to do a bit of rationing for the year or so that it would take for increased gas drilling (many gas projects have been idled due to low gas prices) and some coal-to-gas and coal-to-liquids projects to end the need even for that.
Sounds like our refineries, and Canada’s, are keepng up with field production. Or am I reading this wrong?
I thought our refining capacity was very limited.
True oil independence, at least at the North America level is in sight; in our lifetimes.
Something I never thought possible as recently as 2007.
wtf is b/d
We refine nearly twice as much oil as we produce domestically. It is why we are importing almost as much crude oil as we produce ourselves.
We refine more oil than we use ourselves. We import a little more than we need and export the surplus for a benefit to trade balance, keeping more jobs and refinery capacity in the states.
We haven’t built a new major refinery in quite a while, but we spent the last couple decades expanding and upgrading the ones we have.
Crude Oil Production
U.S. Refiner Net Input of Crude Oil
U.S. Imports of Crude Oil
barrels per day, normal measurement of oil production/movement/processing
So the exports were;
2. Drug money
3. Money from the illegals
4. Manufacturing knowledge
5. Raw materials
6. Unprocessed food
7. Horses for slaughter
8. Things to be printed then shipped back for sale
9. Weapons to cartels
10. Stolen high priced cars
If a real crisis arrived, a crash drilling program (the drill, drill, drill option) should be able to bridge the gap in a short time.
By that measure, North America has achieved energy independence.