Washington — US crude oil imports fell to nearly 6.24 million b/d in October, the lowest monthly average since January 1994, the US Energy Information Administration reported Tuesday.
The decline in imports arrived as the US continues to break production output records and is exporting more oil to the world market.
In its Petroleum Supply Monthly report Tuesday, EIA said that crude oil imports in the US Gulf Coast fell to 1.22 million b/d in October, its lowest monthly average since February 1985.
Total US imports of crude oil from OPEC countries fell below 1.2 million b/d, also the lowest since February 1985. Crude imports from Persian Gulf countries fell to 671,000 b/d in October, a 53% decline from October 2018, EIA said.
Total US imports of foreign crude are on pace to average below 6.9 million b/d in 2019, down nearly 900,000 b/d from 2018 and the lowest annual average since 1993 when imports averaged less than 6.8 million b/d, EIA said. Annual US crude imports peaked in 2005 at nearly 10.13 million b/d.
US refineries are on pace to import an average of 520,000 b/d of Saudi crude, accounting for about 8% of total US imports. This is the lowest annual rate of Saudi oil imports since 1985 when the US imported an average of 132,000 b/d. US imports of Saudi crude peaked in 2003 at nearly 1.73 million b/d.
The US exported an average of more than 3.38 million b/d in October, a new record high, EIA data showed. The US has averaged 2.9 million b/d of crude exports in 2019, up nearly 900,000 b/d from 2018. All US crude oil export limits were lifted in December 2015.
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US crude was shipped to 31 different countries in October, including 490,000 b/d to Canada; 421,000 b/d to the Netherlands; 395,000 b/d to South Korea; 249,000 b/d to the UK; and 239,000 to India. According to EIA, the US also shipped a record 214,000 b/d to France and a record 192,000 b/d to Australia in October.
The US produced a record of nearly 12.7 million b/d of crude in October, up 171,000 b/d from September and up more than 1 million b/d from October 2019, EIA said.
The top producing states in October were Texas, which produced more than 5.27 million b/d; North Dakota, which produced more than 1.47 million b/d; New Mexico with 982,000 b/d; Oklahoma with 592,000 b/d; and Colorado with 554,000 b/d.
More than 1.9 million b/d were produced in US Gulf of Mexico waters in October, up 6,000 b/d from September and up 153,000 b/d from October 2019.
EIA forecasts US crude output to average 12.25 million in 2019 and 13.18 million b/d in 2020.
-- Brian Scheid, firstname.lastname@example.org
-- Edited by Zac Aiuppa, email@example.com