Exports by U.S. refiners have reached an historic high as they ship fuel to all corners of the world. With production continuing to soar in many parts of the United States, such as the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas, refineries in the Gulf of Mexico are enjoying abundance of feedstock that allows them to manufacture their products at a much lower price than refineries overseas.
According to the Wall Street Journal, even adding shipping costs, U.S. production is often cheaper in foreign markets. That is why the demand for U.S. petroleum products has soared to unprecedented levels. While laws largely ban the export of U.S. oil, refined products manufactured in the United States, such as diesel, jet fuel and gasoline, can be shipped overseas in unlimited quantities.
Figures from the Energy Information Administration showed that in July the United States exported an average of 3.8 million barrels a day to places located as far as Africa and the Middle East. This is about two-thirds higher than the export levels recorded in 2010.
Exports to Asia, for example, increased by a third this year, as the traditional leading market for U.S. petroleum products — Japan — was joined by India and China, which have also hiked imports of U.S. products. Another major market is Latin America, where Brazil and Venezuela are struggling to meet the demand of their industries with domestically-sourced petroleum products and have been relying heavily on U.S. fuels.