U.S. petroleum exports may surpass Saudis by year-end: Rystad

America’s booming oil production could set the stage for country’s total petroleum exports to surpass those of Saudi Arabia by end-2019, according to Rystad Energy AS.

This year, the U.S. will add another 1 million barrels a day of crude production, after last year’s 2 million barrel a day increase, even as independent operators are cutting capital spending. Increasing supply and growing export capacities will push America’s total petroleum shipments abroad to be on par to those of Saudi Arabia by the year’s end at around 9.5 million barrels, Oslo-based Rystad said.

America’s oil industry currently exports 8 million barrels a day of petroleum compared with Arabia’s 9 million, Rystad data show. Petroleum exports include crude, natural gas liquids and refined products. With a couple of exceptions in weekly data, the U.S. is still typically a net petroleum importer.

“This means the U.S. will match Saudi Arabia when it comes to gross exports of oil and petroleum products,” Per Magnus Nysveen, Rystad’s head of analysis, said. “It could also likely exceed Saudi Arabia.”

American producers will ship out about four million barrels a day of crude by the end of the year, about a million more that it does now, according to Rystad. Saudi crude outflows will reach 7.5 million by end-2019 from the current 7 million.

“The oil market is overly preoccupied with short-term U.S. crude stocks, but the big picture tells a new story,” Nysveen said. “Increasingly profitable shale production and a robust global appetite for light oil and gasoline is poised to bring the U.S. to a position of oil dominance in the next few years.”

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