The U.S. is beginning to step up its oil exporting game.
The 40-year ban on exporting U.S. crude was lifted last December. Since then, there’s been a sevenfold increase in America’s oil exports to destinations other than Canada, which was excluded from the ban.
The frenzy of export activity, while still relatively small, is noteworthy given the depressed environment in the oil patch these days. Not only is the U.S. pumping less oil, but there remains a lingering glut of oil around that world that earlier this year caused crude to crash to 13-year lows.
“Exports should pick up. The reason we’re not surging now is the world is still oversupplied with crude,” said Anthony Starkey, energy analysis manager at Platts Analytics.
Yet U.S. oil exports hit an important milestone in March, the latest month that statistics are available for. For the first time since 2000, the majority of U.S. crude exports were to destinations other than Canada, according to JBC Energy.