America turned into a net oil exporter last week, breaking almost 75 years of continued dependence on foreign oil and marking a pivotal — even if likely brief — moment toward what US President Donald Trump has branded as “energy independence”.
The shift to net exports is the dramatic result of an unprecedented boom in American oil production.
While the country has been heading in that direction for years, this week’s shift came as data showed a sharp drop in imports and a jump in exports to a record high.
Given the volatility in weekly data, the US will likely remain a small net importer most of the time.
“We are becoming the dominant energy power in the world,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research.
“But, because the change is gradual over time, I don’t think it’s going to cause a huge revolution, but you do have to think that Opec is going to have to take that into account when they think about cutting.”
The shift to net exports caps a tumultuous week for energy markets and politics.
Opec and its allies are meeting in Vienna this week, trying to make a choice whether to cut output and support prices, risking the loss of more market share to the US. BLOOMBERG