WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- The United States imported more oil from OPEC producers in the first six months of 2012 than for the same period last year, the U.S. Energy Department said.
The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration reported the United States imported about 5 million barrels of oil from members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on average during the first six months of 2012.
Saudi Arabia and Nigeria exported more oil to the United States than any of the other OPEC members, with a six-month average of 1.08 million and 1.02 million bpd, respectively.
For the same period last year, OPEC exported 4.9 million bpd to the United States.
The U.S. government had expressed support for a drawdown from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to keep oil prices moderated. Saudi officials, however, said markets were well-supplied.
OPEC, in its market report for September, said that U.S. economy is expected to grow 2.0 percent next year, 0.3 percent less than this year.
Demand for OPEC crude next year is expected to average 29.5 million bpd, unchanged from the previous report.
For a yearly average, U.S. imports of OPEC oil reached a high-water mark in 2007 with 5.98 million bpd.