WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- The U.S. Energy Information Administration said oil imports into the United States dipped below 7 million barrels per day for the second time in 14 years.
The EIA said the last time crude oil imports into the United States dropped below that figure, which was for the week ending Jan. 10, was in January 2000.
In a weekly report published Thursday, the EIA attributed the decline in imports to the rise in domestic crude oil production. It said data from its weekly petroleum status report show U.S. crude oil production averaged 8.1 million bpd for the four weeks ending Jan. 17.
The EIA said higher domestic crude oil production has resulted in a steady decline in crude oil imports -- at least since domestic production reached the 5.7 million bpd mark in 2011.
It said refinery issues contributed to the decline in imports.
"While growing production continues to push the absolute level of imports lower, seasonal factors are also partially responsible for the decline in crude oil imports," the EIA said. "The declines reflected in recent weekly data are likely the result of decreased crude buying ahead of refinery maintenance season."