U.S. Continues To Be Leading Importer of Oil

Congress voted to lift the 40-year ban on U.S. oil exports in December 2015, while attempting to propel America into a leading oil exporter. Yet, nearly four months later, oil imports reached a three year high according to Bloomberg Business Week.

As of March 25, the U.S. imported 7.9 million barrels of oil a day. With lowering oil prices, traders and producers are waiting for prices to rise. Company’s have shifted to storing freshly drilled oil, instead of selling at lower prices.

Today, American oil producers feel trapped, their prices are too high to compete globally.

West Texas Intermediate crude is nearly a dollar more than foreign barrels. Refiners along the Gulf Coast are opting to buy imported oil at lower prices than WTI.

Imports from Nigeria, Mexico, and Venezuela have sky rocketed since late 2015 with prices dipping even lower.

Industry officials say lifting the 40-year ban had little to no affect on smaller producers. Company’s with higher operations costs have struggled to compete with industry giants in the Middle East.

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