Visualize imports of US crude oil and petroleum products in 2021

US Imports of Petroleum Products and Crude Oil in 2021: A Perception

Energy independence is a top priority for many countries, such as the Russian invasion Ukraine It led to sanctions and bans on imports of Russian coal and crude oil.

Despite being the world’s largest oil producer, in 2021 the United States still imports more than 3 billion barrels of crude oil and petroleum products, equivalent to 43% of the country’s consumption.

This visualization uses data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) to compare US imports of crude oil and refined products with domestic crude oil production, and identify the countries from which the US imported oil in 2021.

US crude oil imports by country

The United States imports more than 8 million barrels of petroleum products per day from other countries, making it the world’s second largest importer of crude oil after China.

America’s northern neighbor, Canada, is the largest source of petroleum imports at 1.58 billion barrels in 2021. These accounted for more than 51% of U.S. petroleum imports, and only when counting Crude oil Imports, Canada’s share rose to 62%.

Rank Country US oil imports (2021 in barrels) Share
#1 🇨🇦 Canada 1,584 million 51.3%
# 2 🇲🇽 Mexico 259 million 8.4%
# 3 🇷🇺 Russia 254 million 7.9%
# 4 🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia 156 million 5.1%
# 5 🇨🇴 Colombia 74 million 2.4%
#6 🇪🇨 Ecuador 61 million 2.0%
#7 🇮🇶 Iraq 57 million 1.9%
#8 🇧🇷 Brazil 52 million 1.7%
#9 🇰🇷 South Korea 48 million 1.6%
# 10 🇳🇱 Holland 46 million 1.5%
#11 🇳🇬 Nigeria 45 million 1.5%
other countries 459 million 14.7%
Total 3,091 million 100.0%

The second largest contributor to US petroleum imports was another neighbour, Mexico, with 259 million barrels imported in 2021 – making up just over 8% of US petroleum imports.

Russia was the third largest exporter of crude oil and petroleum products to the United States in 2021, with 254 million barrels representing nearly 8% of total imports.

Imports of crude oil and US oil from OPEC and OPEC +

Only about 11% of US imports of crude oil and petroleum products come from OPEC countries, with another 16.3% coming from OPEC+ members.

While imports from OPEC and OPEC+ members make up more than a quarter of America’s total petroleum imports, this share is rather small when you consider that OPEC members currently control nearly 80% of Oil reserves in the world.

What countries are part of OPEC and OPEC Plus?

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a group of 13 petroleum producing countries formed in 1960 to provide fixed prices and distribute supplies of crude oil and petroleum products.

In 2016, OPEC Plus was formed with other oil-exporting countries in order to better control global oil supplies and markets in response to a flood of US shale oil supplies that hit the markets at the time.

OPEC members:

  • 🇮🇷 Iran *
  • 🇮🇶 Iraq *
  • 🇰🇼 Kuwait *
  • 🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia *
  • 🇻🇪 Venezuela *
  • 🇩🇿 Algeria
  • 🇦🇴 Angola
  • 🇬🇶 Equatorial Guinea
  • 🇬🇦 Gabon
  • 🇱🇾 Libya
  • 🇳🇬 Nigeria
  • 🇨🇩 Republic of the Congo
  • 🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates

* founding members

OPEC+ members:

  • 🇷🇺 Russia
  • 🇲🇽 Mexico
  • 🇰🇼 Kazakhstan
  • 🇲🇾 Malaysia
  • 🇦🇿 Azerbaijan
  • 🇧🇭 Bahrain
  • 🇧🇳 Brunei
  • 🇴🇲 Oman
  • 🇸🇩 Sudan
  • 🇸🇸 South Sudan

Although OPEC and OPEC+ members supply a significant portion of US crude and oil imports, America has avoided over-reliance on the group by building strong relationships with neighboring exporters Canada and Mexico instead.

Crude oil imports benefit from US refineries

While the US has been a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products for the past two years, exporting 3.15 billion barrels while importing 3.09 billion barrels in 2021, only the crude oil trade tells a different story.

In terms of crude oil trade only, the United States was a significant net importer, with 2.23 billion barrels of crude oil imports and only 1.08 billion barrels of crude oil exports. But with the US being the world’s largest producer of crude oil, why is that?

As mentioned earlier, neighboring Canada accounts for a larger share of US crude oil imports than imports of crude oil and petroleum products. Similarly, Mexico accounts for 10% of America’s imports of crude oil when petroleum products are excluded.

Maximizing imports from neighboring countries makes sense on multiple fronts for all parties due to lower transportation costs and risks, and it is not surprising that only Canada and Mexico provide significant shares of crude oil. With such a large pool of oil refineries across the border, it is cost-effective for Canada and Mexico to benefit from refining American oil rather than refining domestically.

In contrast, Mexico is biggest importer Of the gasoline and diesel fuels produced in the United States, Canada is the third largest importer of American refined petroleum products.

Substitution of Russian crude oil imports

While Russia accounts for only 8% of US petroleum product imports, 254 million barrels will need to be replaced as both countries stopped trading shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In an effort to curb rising oil and gasoline prices, President Joe Biden announced in March the release of up to 180 million barrels of US Strategic Petroleum Reserves. Other countries in the IEA are too Emergency release of oil reserves trying to restrain Rising prices At the pump and fluctuations in the oil market.

While the United States and the rest of the world still manage the short-term solutions to this oil supply gap, the long-term solution is complex and has different moving parts. From intensifying domestic oil production to replacing oil demand with another cleaner energy Solutions, oil trade, and imports will continue to be a vital part of the US energy supply.

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