For the first time ever, Texas ports exported more oil than they imported in April of this year, and the gap between oil exports and imports is growing, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
According to the Energy Information Administration, Texas ports, from Corpus Christi to Houston-Beaumont, exported 427,000 barrels per day of oil and oil products more than were imported.
Texas ports are expected to export a record two million barrels of oil per day by the end of this year. Texas, not the U.S. but Texas alone, is on a path to become the world's third biggest oil producer behind Saudi Arabia and Russia, and the U.S. will surpass those two producers to become the world's largest producer, probably by early next year as pipeline challenges are overcome.
The Texas Alliance of Energy Producers says Texas in June and July produced 4.3 million barrels per day, or about 40% of the total U.S. output.
The U.S. uses about 19 million barrels per day and growing, so the U.S. is still far from being 'energy independent,' but it is getting closer.So how big will Texas oil production get? Some estimates show it peaking next year at 6.5 million bpd, but others say that peak will not come for the foreseeable future, due to debt and a lack of research and exploration funding during the oil price crunch of 2014-2016, and due to the fact that pipeline capacity, especially out of the Permian Basin, needs to be drastically expanded to meet that increased production.
The EIA says China is among the biggest recipients of U.S. crude, about 200,000 bpd, but that number could fall due to growing trade tensions between China and the Trump Administration.
Other recipients of U.S. crude include Europe, India, and Canada. Even though Canada is also an oil producer, many Canadian refineries can process Texas crude more efficiently than the 'tar sands' oil produced in Western Canada.
Mexico continues to be by far the largest source of U.S. oil imports, with 335,000 bpd imported from south of the border.
GRAPHIC: ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION