That’s the net amount of petroleum products that the U.S. exported in 2011, marking the first time since 1949 that the country exported more petroleum products than it imported, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Imports fell to 2.4 million barrels per day (bpd)—the lowest level in 11 years—while exports rose to 2.9 million bpd, largely on the back of strong global demand for diesel fuel. (Diesel has a larger profit margin than gasoline—attractive to refiners—and is used in much greater levels by European countries, where cars as well as trucks often run on diesel.) But this doesn’t mean the U.S. is anywhere near close to being energy independent, at least when it comes to crude oil. The U.S. imported $331.6 billion worth of crude oil in 2011—by far the largest U.S. import of any good. Thanks in part to rising oil prices, that represented a 32% increase from 2010. Translation: while the growth of the U.S. petroleum industry is good for oil companies, the people who work for them and the overall U.S. trade deficit, it’s not likely to relieve the pain at the pump. Trying buying a hybrid instead.

graph of Annual U.S. net exports of total petroleum products, 1949-2011, as described in the article text

  • Share
  • Read Later
0 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest