EIA: U.S. oil imports at historic lows

Nov. 13, 2013 at 12:52 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- The U.S. Energy Information Administration said Wednesday total petroleum imports into the United States were at their lowest level since February 1991.

The EIA, the statistical arm of the Energy Department, said domestic oil production averaged 7.7 million barrels per day last month.

"Monthly estimated domestic crude oil production exceeded crude oil imports in October for the first time since February 1995, while total petroleum net imports were the lowest since February 1991," the agency said in its short-term market report.

The agency said North America was the largest source of new oil production outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Including Canadian production, the EIA said it expects North American production to increase by 1.1 million bpd next year.

For OPEC members, the EIA said its production declined by 800,000 bpd to 35.9 million bpd this year and should stay at that level in 2014.

The International Energy Agency published its World Energy Outlook report for 2013. The Tuesday report said OPEC is losing its market influence because of production gains in the Americas. By the 2020s, however, the Middle East will be the "only" major source of cheap oil, the IEA said.

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