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U.S. importing less oil, data show

Domestic oil production at 8.59 million bpd.

By Daniel J. Graeber

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- The four-week average of crude oil imports into the United States is nearly 7 percent less than last year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.

EIA published its weekly status report on the petroleum markets. For the week ending Sept. 5, EIA said crude oil imports averaged over 7.6 million barrels per day, down 54,000 bpd from the previous week. The four-week average of 7.6 million bpd was 6.8 percent less than the same period in 2013.

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Canada remained the top crude oil exporter to the U.S. market. Year-on-year, imports from Canada are up 27.2 percent. Imports from Saudi Arabia and Mexico, the No. 2 and No. 3 exporters, respectively, nearly doubled from the previous week.

In terms of production, EIA said the United States produced an average 8.59 million bpd during the week ending Sept. 5. That's 40,000 bpd less than the previous week, but 845,000 bpd more year-on-year.

The cumulative average daily production for the week ending Sept. 5 was 14.6 higher year-on-year, EIA said Thursday.

The increase in U.S. oil production has sparked debates over trade policies. Legislation enacted in response to the 1970s era oil embargo from Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries limits crude oil exports.

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Analysis this week found lifting the ban would still leave some U.S. markets to dependent on foreign oil.

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