US crude oil imports increased in 2016

US crude oil

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Petroleum Supply Monthly, US Crude oil imports

OPEC’s share in 2016 was lower than in any year between 1973

Gross US crude oil imports in 2016 rose to an average of 7.9 million b/d, 514,000 b/d more than the 2015 average, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

Net crude oil imports increased by a smaller amount (460,000 b/d), as US crude oil exports rose despite a decline in US crude oil production.

From a longer term perspective, gross crude oil imports in 2016 were still 22 per cent lower than their 2005 high of 10.1 million b/d.

Crude oil imports have also been affected by other major changes since 2005, when the United States was the world’s largest net importer of refined products and crude oil.

In 2016, the United States was the world’s largest net exporter of refined products, with a significant portion of crude oil input to US refiners supporting those exports.

Canada continued to be the largest source of US crude oil imports in 2016, providing a record 3.3 million b/d, or 41 per cent of total US imports—more than all Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) combined.

Among non-OPEC suppliers, 2016 marked the seventh consecutive year of increasing crude oil imports from Canada and the sixth consecutive year of decreasing crude oil imports from Mexico.

Imports from Mexico have declined as Mexico’s crude oil production, its total crude export sales, and the share of its exports sold in the United States have all fallen.

Increased US imports of heavy Canadian crude oils are replacing some imported Mexican crude oils of similar quality.

Canada’s share of US crude oil imports declined slightly from 2015, as both imports and import shares from countries such as Iraq and Nigeria grew, according to annual trade data from EIA’s Petroleum Supply Monthly.

OPEC supplied 40 per cent of the crude oil imported to the United States in 2016, up slightly from 36 per cent in 2015.

Nevertheless, OPEC’s share in 2016 was lower than in any year between 1973, the earliest year for which EIA has country-specific crude oil import data, and 2014.

graph of gross imports of crude oil to the United States, as explained in the article text

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Petroleum Supply Monthly Note: OPEC is the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Imported crude oil from Iraq and Nigeria were the largest contributors to the increase in US crude oil imports in 2016.

Imports from Iraq increased from 229,000 b/d in 2015 to 418,000 b/d in 2016, and imports from Nigeria increased from 54,000 b/d to 210,000 b/d.

US crude oil

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Nigerian crude oil is of similar quality to that produced in the Bakken region in parts of North Dakota and Montana.

As production in the Bakken region (and the United States as a whole) declined, refiners may have increased imports from Nigeria to replace these barrels.

US crude oil

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Petroleum Supply Monthly Note: OPEC is the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

 

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