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US January crude imports climb 5% from December

BY PAUL REKOFF

NEW YORK -- United States crude imports climbed 5% to 7.953 MMbopd in January from December, according to statistics from the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Meanwhile, net imports of oil jumped 20% to 7.160 MMbopd in the first month of this year from the prior month. Net imports are made up of the total amount of crude and petroleum products imported, minus the amount of crude and products exported.

The increase in both categories went against the recent tide. Imports have been on the wane as domestic crude production has steadily climbed in recent years, due to new drilling techniques that have unlocked a vast amount of oil from shale formations.

The increased United States oil production has eased the need for imports, analysts said.

December marked the first time crude imports were below 8 MMbopd in 15 years. Also, United States net oil imports had declined for five straight months before January' s increase.

The downward trend of net imports in the United States has prompted some to suggest China has, or would, overtake the United States as the world' s No. 1 net importer of oil. December' s United States net oil imports of 5.987 MMbopd put the focus on January as estimates for China' s net oil imports in the month ranged from 5.978 MMbopd to 6.13 MMbopd. However, the January number for the United States shot up and topped 7 MMbopd.

Canada, the top supplier of crude to the United States for every month since March 2006, once again led the list of sources of imports in January, increasing supplies 7.8% from the prior month and 9.7% from a year earlier.

Dow Jones Newswires

04/01/2013

 

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