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EIA: US crude oil exports increased and reached more destinations in 2017; China now second-largest destination

US crude oil exports grew to an average of 1.1 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2017, the second full year since restrictions on crude oil exports were removed, according to figures from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Crude oil exports in 2017 were nearly double the level of exports in 2016. Increased US crude oil exports were supported by increasing US crude oil production and expanded infrastructure.

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US crude oil exports went to 37 destinations in 2017, compared with 27 destinations in 2016. Similar to previous years, Canada remained the largest destination for US crude oil exports, but Canada’s share of total US crude oil exports continued to decrease, down from 61% in 2016 to 29% in 2017. US crude oil exports to China accounted for 202,000 b/d (20%) of the 527,000 b/d total increase. China surpassed the United Kingdom and the Netherlands to become the second-largest destination for US crude oil exports in 2017.

Many European nations are among the top destinations for US crude oil exports, including the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Italy, France, and Spain. India, which did not receive US crude oil exports in 2016, received 22,000 b/d in 2017, tying with Spain as the tenth-largest destination.

Crude oil now makes up 18% of total US petroleum exports, making it the third-largest petroleum export after hydrocarbon gas liquids (HGL) and distillate fuel.

Increasing US crude oil production and expansions of US pipeline capacity and export infrastructure facilitated increased crude oil exports. US crude oil production reached 9.3 million b/d in 2017, a 0.5 million b/d increase from 2016. Several new or expanded pipelines came online in 2017 to move crude oil from producing regions, primarily the Permian basin of Texas and New Mexico, to the US Gulf Coast. On the US Gulf Coast, recently expanded crude oil export infrastructure in ports such as Corpus Christi and Houston, Texas, and in ports along the Mississippi River in LoUSana allowed larger volumes of crude oil exports.

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