quote:A combination of booming demand from emerging markets and faltering domestic activity means the United States is exporting more fuel than it imports, upending the historical norm.
According to data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Tuesday, the United States sent abroad 753.4 million barrels of everything from gasoline to jet fuel in the first nine months of this year, while it imported 689.4 million barrels.
That the nation is shipping out more fuel than it brings in is significant because it has for decades been a voracious energy consumer, said the report. It took in huge quantities of not only crude oil from the Middle East but also refined fuels from Europe, Latin America and elsewhere to help run its factories and cars.
quote:But U.S. drivers aren't seeing much benefit in the form of lower prices because refineries on the Gulf Coast are shipping much of their output to places where demand is strong, keeping prices high.
Actually the entire article is poorly written and misleading for that matter. The US is not a Net Oil Exporter! When the article says Fuel it means refined oil, i.e. gas, diesel, etc. So we continue to import nearly 10 million barrels of raw oil a day. Our Exports of gasoline are slightly higher than our Imports of gasoline because we are efficient refiners and that adds to our trade balance, but it doesn't come close to overcoming the massive deficit of raw oil imports.
So to sum up the article. The US remains largely dependent on foreign oil, but we make a little money off of refining it into gas and exporting some fraction of those imports. From the article we are currently exporting back a net 0.9 million barrels of the 10 million we import per day. So about 9% of the total is sent back out.
"Our gas prices aren't going down any time soon. If gas companies can make more money exporting it than selling it here, why would they sell it here?"
[sarcasm] Yep, and you know who is worse. Those pesky grain farmers. The US exports over half of our grain production. If those grain farmers can make more money exporting it than selling it here, why would they sell it here? Think of the hungry poor children. [/sarcasm]
Since gas companies are selling about 95% of the gas they refine to Americans, I'd say that's not really a huge concern. Or to put it another way, the gas companies are reducing our trade balance and providing jobs instead of letting the extra refinery capacity sit idle.
You could ask the same question you asked about every US exporter. Your implication is that the price would naturally drop if no producer exported any product, but it's wrong because it has an implicit assumption that production would stay the same if the exporter couldn't or wasn't allowed to export. That is a very poor assumption.