Graphic shows U.S. oil production and imports, 2017-2019.
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U.S. less dependent on oil imports

By Duncan Mil

September 19, 2019 - President Donald Trump has claimed that the U.S. has become such a significant oil producer, it no longer needs crude from the Middle East. The U.S. produces roughly 12 million barrels per day, but consumes 20 million bpd, meaning it must import the rest, much of it from Canada.

Domestic oil production has soared by almost a third since January 2017 -- driven by record U.S. shale oil output. But imports of crude oil and petroleum products from the Gulf region continue to flow because several U.S. refineries prefer Arab Light and Arab Extra Light crude. Of the Saudi Arabian crudes, these two grades are the most suitable for refiners aiming to produce a wide variety of refined products.

Between January and June 2019 the U.S. imported an average of 31 million barrels per month of crude oil and petroleum products from the Gulf region, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

U.S. shale production is unlikely to make up for the supply lost in Saudi Arabia, energy experts say. Although some light shale oil is similar to Arab Light, producers are under pressure from investors to cut budgets and workers rather than expand drilling.

PUBLISHED: 19/09/2019; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images
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