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America is exporting its oil at a record never before seen in history.

Expand chart
Data: U.S. Energy Information Administration; Chart: Axios Visuals

Why it matters: That straight line upward, highlighted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration Wednesday, reflects one of the most dramatic turnarounds of an industry that affects so many corners of the American and global economies, from trade deficits to everyday drivers.

By the numbers:

  • Fueled by fracking and horizontal drilling, America is on track to produce a record 10.7 million barrels of oil per day this year, surpassing its 1970 record of 9.6 million and more than double the production levels of a decade ago.
  • In late 2015, Congress lifted America’s 40-year-old ban on oil exports, opening the gates for this export trend, which was already underway for refined petroleum products.
  • The EIA, the statistical arm of the Energy Department, predicts America is on track to become a net energy exporter in just four years.
  • America’s net oil imports are at a record low of roughly 2.6 million barrels a day, down from a record high of 13.4 million in 2006.
  • Gasoline prices, which are mostly driven by the cost of oil, are also lower (though not breaking records). Dropping precipitously along with the oil prices in 2014, prices at the pump have hovered around $2.50 a gallon since then.
  • The last time gasoline prices were steady at this price was 2006, excluding the immediate aftermath of the 2008 financial crash.

One level deeper: The chart shows yearly averages, and we can already expect 2018 to be another record-breaking year. Some weekly averages of oil exports have already broken the 2 million mark, as Axios' Ben Geman highlighted in this piece a few weeks ago.

Yes, but: America's oil-export boom is an impressive growth story, but it still pales in comparison when it comes to actual export levels. For example, Saudi Arabia exports roughly 7 million barrels of oil a day.

Go deeper

Battle for the soul of a new web

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A well-funded and intensely motivated chunk of tech's hive mind is finding common cause in a vast new project: rebuilding the web on a foundation of cryptocurrency and blockchain tech. They call it "Web3."

The big picture: Developers, investors and early adopters imagine a future in which the technologies that enable Bitcoin and Ethereum will break up the concentrated power today's tech giants wield and usher in a golden age of individual empowerment and entrepreneurial freedom.

First look: Biden summons top CEOs on supply chain

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Biden will meet Monday afternoon with CEOs of big retailers, grocers and consumer-products firms to send this message, according to the White House: Products will be on shelves for holiday shopping.

Zoom out: Black Friday sales rebounded from 2020.

Thanksgiving box office shows theaters have long road to recovery

Photo of Disney's "Encanto;" Credit: Disney

Box office ticket sales over the Thanksgiving holiday show that consumer confidence in moviegoing is slowly improving, but not enough to bring the struggling theater industry back to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon, if ever.

Why it matters: "We may have to temper expectations a bit" for next year, said Comscore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian.

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