US energy exports enjoy record week amid Ukraine crisis

The United States exported the most oil and petroleum products in history last week as countries around the world continue to work to replace Russian supplies in the wake of the Ukraine crisis, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

U.S. crude oil and petroleum exports hit an all-time weekly high of 10.6 million bpd in the week ending April 15, with the nation’s exports outpacing its imports by the largest number never recorded in government data dating back to 1990.

Unlike its EU counterparts, the US has never been heavily dependent on Russia for its energy imports, typically importing less than 3% of its needs from Russia. Today, the United States plays a major role in helping to fill the void left by most EU countries that self-sanction against Russian energy.

The U.S. can thank this notable milestone after earning ‘energy supplier of last resort’ status after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused buyers to turn to it for everything from oil crude to fuel and liquefied natural gas. The majority of Western companies and trading companies withdrew energy investments after several governments, including the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, imposed heavy sanctions on oil imports.

“Strong exports have been driven by an attraction to Europe and we should expect strength in the coming weeks,” Matt Smith, oil analyst at market intelligence firm Kpler, said Bloomberg.

Appetite for US diesel by Latin America and Europe remained high. Soaring export volumes across the board are also helping to drain US inventories and push up prices in a market already constrained by supply. Last week, U.S. crude inventories fell by more than 8 million barrels, the biggest margin since January 2021.

While demand for U.S. oil remains robust, traders expect exports to remain strong heading into the summer, with relatively weak U.S. crude prices likely to attract more buyers.

By Alex Kimani for

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Christi C. Elwood