The rapid growth of the US as a crude exporter has been much commented on – though no less dramatic for it – less so has been the fact that imports have fallen by much less, despite demand largely staying steady. Exports of NGLs and refined products are also at record levels. Taken together US oil trade hit a record 16.2mn b/d in 2017, the highest figure for any country ever.

US oil output is at record levels. Crude production rose to 9.64mn b/d in October, the highest figure since 1971; add in record 4mn b/d NGLs output, and total oil output is well over 13mn b/d, an all-time high (see charts, MEES, 5 January). The provisional December crude output figure of 9.77mn b/d is up almost exactly 1mn b/d year-on-year; add in NGLs and output gains during calendar 2017 are 1.4mn b/d, second only to 2014’s record 2mn b/d growth. (CONTINUED - 793 WORDS)