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US petroleum product exports in 2013

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

In 2013 exports of petroleum products from the US averaged 3.5 million bpd, 10% more than in 2012. The increase in exports was broad based, affecting multiple products going to multiple regions. In December 2013, US exports of petroleum products hit 4.3 million bpd, the first time exports exceeded 4 million bpd in a single month.


Average exports of distillate fuels exceeded 1.1 million bpd in 2013, an increase of 110 000 bpd over the level in 2012. Cost advantaged domestic crude oil and natural gas encouraged near record high refinery runs, and 2013 distillate fuel production increased 160 000 bpd over 2012. The largest increases in distillate export volumes were those destined for Central and South America, already the largest destination for US produced distillate fuel. US distillate exports to that region increased by 60 000 bpd reaching 550 000 bpd in 2013. Exports of distillate fuel to Europe increased by 50 000 bpd to an average of 400 000 bpd in 2013.

Propane and gasoline

Propane exports averaged 300 000 bpd in 2013, a 130 000 bpd increase over the level in 2012. Almost half of all 2013 propane exports went to Central and South America, while exports to Europe doubled from 2012 levels to 55 000 bpd. In 2013, US propane production increased by 110 000 bpd compared to 2012, while consumption grew by 90 000 bpd. Continued propane production growth is excess of consumption over several years filled propane inventories to 75.8 million bbls in October 2012, the highest level since 1998. Elevated inventories and increases in propane production contributed to the increase in export volumes in 2013.

Gasoline exports increased by 45 000 bpd in 2013, averaging 550 000 bpd for the year. December 2013 gasoline exports set a monthly record of 770 000 bpd. Gasoline exports increased to Africa, Central and South America, and Mexico.


The US does continue to import significant amounts of petroleum products; however, imports are generally declining. Although the Gulf Coast is a large net exporter of gasoline, given present infrastructure constraints the East Coast continues to import substantial amounts of gasoline from Europe and Canada. Likewise, imports play a critical role in supplying distillate and propane during the winter, particularly on the East Coast, when in region production along with shipments from other regions are insufficient to meet the increases in demand, especially during very cold weather, as much of the country experienced this past winter.

Adapted from a press release by Claira Lloyd.

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