U.S. Is Net Oil Exporter to Mexico for First Time in Two Decades


The U.S. became a net oil exporter to Mexico for the first time in more than 20 years as output from shale fields pushed the world’s biggest consumer toward energy independence.

Net exports -- comprising only oil products since the U.S. bans most shipments of crude -- totaled 48,000 barrels a day in July, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in data released Wednesday. A decade ago, the country bought a net 1.3 million barrels of oil from its southern neighbor.

The emergence of the U.S. as a net supplier to Mexico underscores how the growth of the shale industry is redrawing the global energy map. Output from shale rocks pushed U.S. oil production to a three-decade high earlier this year, driving down prices, boosting margins for refiners and fueling a debate over whether the country should lift restrictions on exports of crude.

Refineries in the U.S. Midwest earned $24.50 a barrel in the third quarter to Sept. 23, compared with $20.80 in the preceding quarter and $17.60 a year earlier, according to BP Plc data. (by Rakteem Katakey and Javier Blas, Bloomberg)