Monday, May 30, 2011

U.S. relies less on oil imports to meet fuel demand: government

U.S. dependence on imported oil fell below 50 percent in 2010 for the first time in more than a decade, thanks in part to the weak economy and more fuel efficient vehicles, the Energy Department said on Wednesday.

Imports of crude and petroleum products accounted for 49.3 percent of U.S. oil demand last year, down from the recent high of 60.3 percent in 2005. It also marked the first time since 1997 that America's foreign oil addiction fell under the 50 percent threshold.

Crude oil production, especially in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, increased by 334,000 barrels per day (bpd) between 2005 and 2010, which also cut into foreign oil purchases.

U.S. demand for gasoline, jet fuel, heating oil and other petroleum products that were processed from crude oil dropped by 1.7 million bpd to 19.1 million bpd in 2010 from 20.8 million bpd in 2005.

At the same time, U.S. exports of petroleum products more than doubled to a record 2.3 million bpd last year from 1.1 million bpd in 2005.

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