London — In 2022, U.S. crude oil exports averaged 3.6 MMbpd, a record high according to export data that has been collected since 1920. U.S. crude oil exports in 2022 were 22% (640,000 bpd) higher than in 2021. Increased U.S. crude oil production, releases from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and more global demand for crude oil from countries other than Russia all drove the growth in U.S. crude oil exports.
Since early 2022, trade patterns have shifted because of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing Western sanctions of Russia’s crude oil exports. Prior to 2022, OECD Europe had been the largest regional importer of Russia’s crude oil, receiving 2.3 MMbpd from Russia in 2021.
Less crude oil was exported to India and China from the United States in 2022 than in 2021 because the two countries imported more discounted crude oil from Russia. India was the largest export destination of U.S. crude oil exports in 2021; China had been in 2020. Decreased demand for U.S. crude oil exports to India and China was more than offset by increased demand from other destinations, particularly in Europe.
Despite declines in exports to India and China, Asia and Oceania remained the regional destination receiving the most U.S. crude oil exports in 2022, 43% (1.55 MMbpd). Europe ranked a close second, at 42% (1.51 MMbpd). Asia and Oceania are the regions that have received the greatest volume of U.S. crude oil since 2017, with Europe receiving the second-most since 2018.
South Korea and the Netherlands each received more than 10% of U.S. crude oil exports in 2022. The UK received 9.6%. Canada dropped to receiving the fourth-most U.S. crude oil exports for the first time since the end of the U.S. crude oil export ban in 2015.
EU sanctions implemented in December 2022 that prohibit all seaborne imports of Russia’s oil to Europe make it likely that demand for U.S. crude oil will continue in 2023.