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For the first time in more than 62 years, the United States will export more petroleum fuel products than it imports into the country.
While the United States still imports 8 to 9 million barrels of crude oil a day, declining domestic demand and rising needs around the world have enabled the United States to to export a greater amount of jet fuel, gasoline and other products.
The switch was first reported Wednesday in the Wall Street Journal.
“That the U.S. is shipping out more fuel than it brings in is significant because the nation has for decades been a voracious energy consumer. It took in huge quantities of not only crude oil from the Middle East but also refined fuels from Europe, Latin America and elsewhere to help run its factories and cars,” the Journal wrote.
The last year the United States exported more than it imported was in 1949.
What remains to be seen is whether a recovering U.S. economy continues to use less oil and whether growing developing economies maintain strong demands. According to the Journal, if that’s the case, the United States could be a net exported for the next decade.