American Crude Around the Globe

Back in December Congress passed legislation that shook up the U.S. energy industry for the first time in decades. Trade restrictions on U.S. crude oil were lifted, essentially freeing up one of the world’s most commonly traded commodities. Since that legislation has passed, the Energy Information Agency (EIA) reported the number of countries receiving U.S. crude oil has risen, and is continuing to rise.

Whether it’s a need for America’s light sweet crude or a stable energy source, U.S. energy is reaching destinations across the globe. And despite the smaller price spread between international and domestic prices as well as other factors that could impact crude exports, countries are still importing Uncle Sam’s energy.

According to the report, so far in 2016, crude oil has reached 16 countries with an exports average of 501 Mbpd in the first five months of this year. Canada, a long time importer of U.S. oil, remains the leader, followed by Curaco, Netherlands, and Japan. See the full list below:



Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Petroleum Supply Monthly



Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Petroleum Supply Monthly

However, in recent years, crude oil hasn’t been the only aspect of U.S. energy diplomacy. Natural gas production has increased, causing a rising demand from producers to export this energy abroad. Unfortunately, due to similar bureaucratic red tape that crude oil found itself tangled in, the application process for export terminals is slow and costly. As a result, other countries are taking advantage of this new market.

The notion that the U.S. is a rising energy leader is not false. In fact, as U.S. State Department Amos Hochstein said: “The U.S. is now the world energy superpower because of growth in our oil production, natural gas production capability.” But our delay in modern energy policy and lawmakers hestitation to prioritize trade of our abundant energy resources still threatens the future of the industry. This moment for American crude oil is an achievement for the industry, but policy should continue to push forward for an all-of-the-above energy strategy to keep the country moving forward.