Dec 6, 2018

A milestone in the U.S. emergence as an oil giant

A tanker is anchored at Irving Oil's Buckeye Terminal. Photo: Carl D. Walsh/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

The U.S. narrowly became a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products combined for the first time in decades last week, preliminary federal data shows.

Why it matters: It's a stark sign of the reemergence of the U.S. as a global oil market powerhouse — even if, as Bloomberg notes, it may only mark a brief return to the net exporter ranks for now. In particular, crude oil from shale formations has added millions of barrels of daily production over the last decade, and a 2015 law that ended a ban on crude oil exports is sending more and more of those barrels overseas.

By the numbers: Net U.S exports of crude oil and refined products averaged 211,000 barrels per day last week, according to rough Energy Information Administration data.

The tally includes...

  • A record 3.2 million barrels per day of crude oil exports last week.
  • Over 5.8 million barrels per day in exports of petroleum products, a category that includes gasoline, diesel, natural gas plant liquids and more.

The big picture: It's the first time that the U.S. has been a net exporter in EIA's weekly data that goes back to 1991.

But none of the monthly import-export data that goes back to 1973 and annual tally's that extend back to the mid-20th century show net exports either, according to EIA.

The last time the U.S. was a net exporter on a yearly basis was 1947, the agency said.

Yes, but: The milestone does not signal that the U.S. is insulated from global energy markets at all, even as domestic crude production is at record levels of far over 11 million barrels per day.

  • The U.S. still remains a major importer of crude oil, even as that reliance on foreign suppliers has fallen significantly amid the domestic boom. And prices are also largely dictated by global supply and demand trends.

Last week the U.S. imported an average of 7.2 million barrels per day of crude oil, according to EIA.

Go deeper

Scoop: Inside the Trump campaign's big hedge on Facebook

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Trump campaign has invested most of its advertising budget to date on Facebook, testing thousands of versions of ads per day to maximize its spending.

But behind the scenes, a source familiar with the campaign tells Axios, the thinking has shifted: "As everyone can see, we still have strong spending on Facebook, but the percentage of our total media budget [on Facebook] is shrinking."

Trump's revenge tour has the House in its sights

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty Contributor

In the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections — buoyed by Republican control of both chambers — President Trump viewed campaigning for the House as a lower-tier priority and instead poured his energy into rallying for the Senate.

But after the GOP reckoning in 2018, and experiencing firsthand how damaging a Democratic-led House has been to him, Trump is now personally invested in helping Republicans regain the majority in November, several people familiar with his thinking tell Axios.

Pelosi warns U.S. allies against working with China's Huawei

Nancy Pelosi, Feb. 16. Photo: Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday cautioned U.S. allies against allowing Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei to develop their 5G networks, arguing at the Munich Security Conference that doing so is akin to “choosing autocracy over democracy," CNBC reports.

Why it matters: Pelosi's hawkish stance marks a rare area of agreement with the Trump administration, which believes Huawei is a national security threat because the Chinese government may be capable of accessing its equipment for espionage.

Go deeperArrow4 hours ago - World