Petroleum, including crude oil and refined products such as gasoline, diesel, and propane, is the largest primary source of energy consumed in the U.S., accounting for 36% of total energy consumption in 2018, the Energy Information Administration reports.
More than 67% of finished petroleum products consumed in the U.S. are used in the transportation sector, Kallanish Energy understands.
EIA uses petroleum product supplied to estimate petroleum consumption. It calculates product supplied by adding field production, refinery and blender net production, and imports and then subtracts stock change, refinery and blender net inputs, and exports.
Exports reach a record
Petroleum product supplied increased for the sixth consecutive year in 2018, totaling roughly 20 million barrels per day (Mmbpd).
In 2018, U.S. exports of crude oil reached a record high of 2 Mmbpd, an increase of roughly 0.8 Mmbpd from 2017. In addition, U.S. exports of total petroleum products reached a record high 5.6 Mmbpd last year, an increase of 0.3 Mmbpd from the previous year.
The U.S. imported roughly 8 Mmbpd of crude in 2018, a 3% decrease from 2017, according to EIA. Net imports of crude oil and petroleum products were down to roughly 2 Mmbpd — the lowest level since 1967. The United States still imports crude oil because of geographic and quality considerations.
Field production sets record
In 2018, total field production, which includes crude oil, lease condensate, and natural gas liquids, reached a record high of more than 15 Mmbpd. U.S. crude oil production reached a record high of nearly 11 Mmbpd last year, a 17% increase from the record set in 2017.
Production of Ngls reached a record high of more than 4 Mmbpd, a 15% increase from the record set in 2017. Increased production from tight oil and shale formations drove these record highs, according to EIA.
Transportation sector largest user for at least 70 years
The transportation sector has been the largest consumer of petroleum products in the U.S. since at least 1949, the earliest year EIA has data. Transportation accounted for roughly 14 Mmbpd of petroleum consumption in 2018 – the second-highest level since its peak in 2007.
After transportation, the industrial sector accounts for the second-largest share of petroleum consumption, accounting for roughly 5 Mmbpd in 2018. Examples of industrial use of petroleum products include hydrocarbon gas liquids used as feedstocks for chemicals and plastics, as well as asphalt and road oil used for construction and road maintenance.
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