Thanks to the roaring Trump economy, the U.S. is about to become a net oil exporter for the first time in nearly 70 years.
The U.S. Energy Department had already predicted that the U.S. would become a net exporter by the year 2022, but now it looks like that prediction is off and we are moving ahead toward energy independence much faster than expected.
According to a new government report, we will move to net exporting next year:
The United States becomes a net energy exporter in 2020 and remains so throughout the projection period as a result of large increases in crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas plant liquids (NGPL) production coupled with slow growth in U.S. energy consumption.
The report added that “[i]ncreasing energy efficiency across end-use sectors keeps U.S. energy consumption relatively flat, even as the U.S. economy continues to expand.”
This determination was made because the U.S. is already a net exporter of both natural gas and coal, but will become a net exporter of petroleum liquids by next year. The report went on saying, “as U.S. crude oil production increases and and domestic consumption of petroleum products decreases.” U.S. crude oil production is predicted to set new annual records “through 2027.”
Still, after that period the repot claims that the U.S. will return to being a net importer.
The report says, “[n]ear the end of the projection period, the United States returns to being a net importer of petroleum and other liquids on an energy basis as a result of increasing domestic gasoline consumption and falling domestic crude oil production in those years.”
The report also reported the decreasing cost of renewable fuels making them “increasingly competitive.” These lower costs have, “resulted in lower wholesale electricity prices.”
However, it should also be noted that many of these reports get these things wrong.
Remember, these same sort of “experts” claimed that not only would the U.S. never be an oil exporter… but the whole world would have run out of oil by this time.
In any case, this is all good news for now. And it is likely this timetable got put into high gear thanks to Donald Trump.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.