Total U.S. net imports of energy, measured in terms of energy content, declined in 2013 to their lowest level in more than two decades. Growth in the production of oil and natural gas displaced imports and supported increased petroleum product exports, driving most of the decline. A large drop in energy imports together with a smaller increase in energy exports led to a 19% decrease in net energy imports from 2012 to 2013.
Total energy imports declined faster—down 9% from 2012 to 2013—than in the previous year, while export growth slowed. Crude oil production grew 15%, about the same pace as in 2012, which led imports of crude oil to decrease by 12%, accounting for much of the overall decline in imports.
These data reflect only the energy content of energy trade. For more information on the value of energy trade, see a previous series of Today in Energy articles that examines energy trade in the context of overall U.S. trade in goods and services.
Preliminary 2013 data for U.S. total energy consumption, production, and trade, now available in the Monthly Energy Review, reflect the cumulative effect of changes in energy markets over the year. Other highlights include:
Total U.S. primary energy consumption increased 2.4% after declining in 2011 and 2012, with renewable energy providing the largest percentage increase.
Primary energy consumption increased in all end-use sectors. Residential sector consumption increased the most, and transportation sector consumption increased the least.