Despite global oil market volatility, US Crude Oil exports hit a new high in 2020. US Crude Oil exports have averaged 3.00 million barrels per day so far this year. According to the US Energy Information Administration’s Weekly Petroleum Status Report, the most recent four-week rolling average of US Crude Oil exports was 3.51 million bpd. Export limitations on minimally processed ultra-light oil were eased by the US government in 2013.
The United States and Mexico signed an oil exchange deal in the summer of 2015, and oil export limits were lifted completely in December of that year. Since 2015, US Crude Oil exports have increased dramatically, averaging over 3.00 million barrels per day every year since 2019. Despite the COVID-19 epidemic, which caused major crude oil price decreases, reduced demand, and reduced output in U.S. and worldwide oil markets, the four-week rolling average of U.S. crude oil export volumes has not gone below 2.00 million bpd in the last three years.
Recent stable crude oil shipments have been aided by high oil prices. The international crude oil benchmark (Brent) spot price averaged $76.13 per barrel (b) for the week of July 9, 2021, while the domestic crude oil benchmark (West Texas Intermediate, or WTI) spot price averaged $73.35/b. Between June 8 and July 16, 2021, both Brent and WTI prices remained above $70/b. Crude oil shipments have increased slightly since the end of June 2021, according to data from our Weekly Petroleum Status Report.
Even with a little price gap between WTI and Brent crude oil, U.S. crude oil exports are still relatively high. So far in 2021, the WTI crude oil price has averaged $2.82/b less than the Brent crude oil price. The WTI price was $2.78/b lower than the Brent price on July 9, 2021. For the same week, U.S. crude oil exports were 3.51 million bpd, much exceeding the year-to-date average volume for U.S. crude oil exports in 2021.