ENERGY

U.S. solidifies position as a net oil exporter

The U.S. solidified its status as an energy producer by posting the first full month as a net exporter of crude and petroleum products since government records began in 1949.

The nation exported 89,000 barrels a day more than it imported in September, according to data from the Energy Information Administration on Friday. While the United States has previously reported net exports on a weekly basis, the figures mark a key milestone that few would have predicted a decade ago, before the onset of the shale boom.

While the net exports show decreasing reliance on imports, the United States continues to buy heavy crude oil from other nations to meet refinery needs.

Soaring output from shale deposits led by the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico has been the main driver of the transition — but America’s status as a net exporter may be fragile. Many Texas wildcatters are predicting a rapid decline in production growth next year, while some Democratic contenders for the White House have called for a ban on fracking.

— Bloomberg News

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