US en­ergy im­ports plum­met

The Australian Energy Review - - NEWS - CAMERON DRUM­MOND

EN­ERGY im­ports to the United States have fallen to their low­est lev­els since 1982, ac­cord­ing to data from the In­ter­na­tional En­ergy Agency (IEA). Im­ports fell 7.3 quadrillion Bri­tish ther­mal units (qbtu) in 2017; a 35 per cent de­crease from 2016. Gross en­ergy im­ports have been gen­er­ally de­creas­ing from a high of 34.7 qbtu in 2007; how­ever, the larger fac­tor lead­ing to the re­duc­tion in the net en­ergy trade bal­ance has been in­creas­ing en­ergy ex­ports. Gross en­ergy ex­ports rose to 18 qbtu in 2017; a 27 per cent in­crease from 2016 and the high­est an­nual US en­ergy ex­ports on record, driven largely by in­creases in ex­ports of petroleum and nat­u­ral gas. In re­cent years, ex­ports of crude oil have also con­trib­uted to the over­all rise in en­ergy ex­ports af­ter crude oil ex­port re­stric­tions were lifted at the end of 2015. Fol­low­ing the re­moval of re­stric­tions on ex­port­ing US crude oil in De­cem­ber 2015, to­tal vol­umes of crude oil ex­ports and the num­ber of des­ti­na­tions for those ex­ports both in­creased. The US ex­ported crude oil to 27 coun­tries in the first half of 2017 com­pared with 19 coun­tries in the first half of 2016. In en­ergy con­tent terms, the US now ex­ports nearly as much en­ergy in the form of crude oil (2.3q Btu) as coal (2.5 qbtu).

Im­age: IEA.

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