Oil, natural gas boost 2015 US trade balance

The oil and natural gas industry continues to drive US economic gains in 2015, a trend that could accelerate under free trade policies, noted American Petroleum Institute Chief Economist John Felmy in comments about the Aug. 5 midyear trade report from the US Department of Commerce.

“Despite a very competitive global market, the US energy revolution continues to push our trade balance in a positive direction,” Felmy said. “Oil imports remain on the decline, and strong exports of petroleum and refined products are creating new opportunities for America to bring wealth and jobs back to US shores.”

Bolstered by the surge in US oil and natural gas production, the total US trade deficit had dropped to $508 billion by 2014, after peaking at $762 billion in 2006. Today’s report, covering trade data through June, shows that the US trade deficit among petroleum and petroleum products fell 56.1% compared with first-half 2014. That growth helped to hold the total US year-over-year trade balance steady, despite a 23.1% increase in the trade deficit among nonpetroleum products.

Due to low commodity prices, the value of US petroleum and product exports fell $20.2 billion, despite high export volumes, but petroleum-related imports fell faster, down $78.6 billion compared with the first 6 months of 2014.

Read the whole article here.

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