20190912_Oil_Exports_IBT This chart shows the monthly crude oil exports in the biggest exporting countries (in million barrels per day). Photo: Statista / IBT

The U.S. has momentarily overtaken Saudi Arabia as the biggest exporter of crude oil and refined oil products. In June, while U.S. crude exports were at more than 3 million barrels per day, total exports of oil products were pushed close to 9 million barrels per day, overtaking Saudi Arabia.

Looking at crude oil exports only, it becomes apparent that the shale oil boom in the U.S. is largely responsible for pushing up U.S. oil exports. Since late 2017, U.S. crude oil exports – largely produced from shale – have been rising steeply. Larger exporters, like Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Russia have not grown their exports of crude (or refined products for that matter) significantly in the same time frame. In May and June, Russian and Saudi crude exports dipped, with the countries in question blaming softening global demand and the economic slowdown for the decline. Russia also grappled with some technical problems on a major pipeline.

Saudi Arabia is expected to be back on top of the list in July and August. Monitoring agencies saw less exports from the U.S. because of disruptions by hurricanes and the U.S.-China trade war intensifying. The IEA has said that it expects the U.S. to challenge the spot as the world’s biggest oil exporter again in the future.