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US to become net oil exporter in November: EIA

Highlights

Imports projected to meet 8% of US demand this year

US net oil exports to average 550,000 b/d in 2020

Washington — The US will become a net oil exporter for the first time on a monthly basis in November, with crude and refined product exports exceeding imports by 220,000 b/d, the Energy Information Administration said Tuesday.

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EIA sees the US continuing to be a net oil importer on an annual basis in 2019, with imports exceeding exports by an average of 620,000 b/d. Then the US will flip to annual net exporter in 2020, with exports exceeding imports by 550,000 b/d.

The US snagged the net oil exporter title for all of one week last November, driven by a surge of 3.2 million b/d in crude exports that pushed crude and product exports above 9 million b/d, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics.

The growth of the Gulf Coast refining sector made the US a net exporter of refined products in 2011. Rising crude exports since 2015 have made the overall net oil exporter status possible.

Still, US crude imports will continue to exceed crude exports by 4.43 million b/d in 2019 and 4.4 million b/d in 2020, EIA said.

IMPORT RELIANCE PLUMMETS

EIA's Annual Energy Outlook 2019 predicted in January that foreign oil would meet just 7.5% of US demand this year.

A decade ago, EIA forecast in its 2009 AEO that foreign crude would meet 44% of US demand in 2020. Imports met 60% of US consumption in 2006 and were projected to fall to 50% by 2010, according to the 2009 report. That was before the US tight oil revolution got underway in earnest.

EIA's projections have accelerated as US oil production growth keeps beating expectations.

Even just two years ago, EIA's 2017 AEO forecast the US remaining a net importer through 2050, with foreign oil meeting 17.7% of national consumption that year. Last year's AEO predicted the US would gain net exporter status in 2029 - nine years later than the current forecast.

President Donald Trump praised the net oil exporter milestone in his State of the Union speech to Congress in February, albeit before it actually happens.

"The United States is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world. And now, for the first time in 65 years, we are a net exporter of energy," Trump said at the time.

-- Meghan Gordon, meghan.gordon@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Richard Rubin, newsdesk@spglobal.com