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U.S. sets record for oil production as exports rose and net imports fell in November (includes Q4 industry outlook)


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WASHINGTON, December 20, 2018 – Today the American Petroleum Institute’s latest monthly statistical report showed the highest ever monthly production for oil and natural gas liquids  (NGLs). The U.S. produced a record 11.6 million barrels of oil per day (mb/d) and a record 4.8 mb/d of NGLs in November. Crude exports also hit a record high at 2.4 million barrels per day last month, and U.S. petroleum net imports fell at their lowest monthly level in more than 50 years at 2.2 million barrels per day.

“Robust American energy production has solidified the United States’ position as the world’s #1 oil producer; this has enhanced our energy security, economy and benefitted consumers at home and aboard,” API Chief Economist Dean Foreman. “Importantly, record natural gas liquids production of 4.8 mb/d in November also made the U.S. natural gas industry the world’s #4 oil producer, narrowly edging out Iraq. To continue this success in 2019 and beyond, the industry needs policies to foster access to resources, investment in domestic and export infrastructure, a level playing field through cogent energy policies, and trustful international trade relations.”

November MSR highlights:

  • U.S. petroleum demand at 20.7 mb/d, strongest year to date since 2007.
  • Jet fuel demand record at 1.8 mb/d.
  • Record gasoline demand year to date through November at 9.3 mb/d.
  • Record refinery and petrochemical feedstock demand at 5.4 mb/d.
  • Record refinery throughput at 17.3 mb/d.

Separately, the latest API Q4 industry outlook further highlights how important emerging oil and natural gas market trends reinforce the policy priorities. Beginning six months ago, we correctly highlighted the tide turned for the global economy and oil markets with indicators of slower growth and elevated risks that belied strong demand through the middle of 2018. 

“Although concerns for global economic and oil demand growth have escalated, the U.S. stepped up to meet virtually all global demand growth in 2018 and is poised to do so again in 2019. However, infrastructure constraints have added uncertainty about future production and pricing and contributed to a record backlog of drilled but uncompleted wells, raising the imperative to advance infrastructure and international market access.” 

The Q4 report highlights:

  • Global growth slowed in Q3 and furthers concerns for emerging market sustainability, as mirrored in reports by the International Monetary Fund and Bank of International Settlements.
  • Global oil markets shifted to a surplus beginning in Q4 (per EIA) with strong supply and slowing demand growth.
  • The U.S. met virtually all global oil demand growth in 2018 and solidified its position as the #1 producer with record high crude oil exports and low petroleum net imports.
  • U.S. natural gas sustained 12 percent annual growth in Q4 2018 (EIA).
  • Near-term prices have been up with low stocks and cold weather, but looking beyond near-term seasonality the decline in breakeven prices and increase in production suggest the market remains demand-limited.

For more information on the quarterly and monthly reports, please visit our Energy Tomorrow blog and API website, where the reports are now available to view and share and please see detailed analysis of API’s Industry Outlook here.

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the natural gas and oil industry, which supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and nearly 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 600 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 47 million Americans.

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