US exports more energy than it imports for second consecutive year

Apr 23, 2021

Marcy de Luna, Houston Chronicle | April 23, 2021

The United States exported more energy in 2020 than it imported for the second consecutive year.

The United States exported more energy in 2020 than it imported for the second consecutive year.

Energy exports, including petroleum, natural gas and coal, topped imports by 3.4 quadrillion British thermal units in 2020, the Energy Department said Tuesday.

U.S. exports totaled 23.4 quadrillion British thermal units in 2020, nearly matching the record high set in 2019, while energy imports fell 13 percent to 20 quadrillion British thermal units, the lowest level since 1992, the EIA said.

Declining crude oil and natural gas imports are the main reasons for last year's changes in U.S. energy trade.

Crude exports, which have increased every year since 2010, reached a record high of 3.2 million barrels per day last year, as U.S. oil imports fell to 5.9 million barrels per day in 2020, the lowest level since 1991, the EIA said.

Gross exports of natural gas have increased every year since 2014. They reached a record high of 14.4 billion cubic feet per day in 2020, while gross imports of natural gas fell to 7 billion cubic feet per day, the lowest level since 1993, according to the EIA.

Both U.S. imports and exports of petroleum products declined in 2020, with imports down by 15 percent and exports dropping by 5 percent, according to the EIA.

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