Oil production in the United States is continuing its record-breaking streak. Terminals in the port district of Houston-Galveston, Texas, recently started exporting more crude oil than was imported for the first time on record, according to an Aug. 20 report by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
In April, crude oil exports from Houston-Galveston surpassed crude oil imports by 15,000 barrels per day. In May, the difference between crude oil exports and imports increased even further, to 470,000 barrels per day.
The majority of crude oil imported into the Houston-Galveston port district comes from Mexico, South America, and the Middle East. In terms of exports, most from that facility go to China, Italy, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Efforts to grow infrastructure in crude oil exports at the ports have allowed for increased export flows, according to the EIA. The port district of Houston-Galveston accounted for 12 percent of total U.S. crude oil imports as of May. It came second to the U.S. port district of Chicago, at 19 percent.
Nationwide, crude oil exports rose to a record high of 2 million barrels per day in May, according to the department. But even with upgrades to infrastructure, the full capacity of exports is limited on the Gulf Coast because most can’t load the larger crude oil vessels, the EIA said.
The report comes after the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in March that the United States will overtake Russia to become the world’s largest oil producer by 2023.
Almost 60 percent of the 6.4 million new barrels of oil pumped every day between now and 2023 will come from the United States, according to the IEA.
“And I can tell you our expectations may well need to be revised upwards if prices are higher,” Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director, said.