Trump says US is a net energy exporter: Fact check

During his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, President Trump touted the U.S. as a net energy export market – a claim that might be a few years ahead of its time.

“For the first time in 65 years, we are a net exporter of energy,” he said.

According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the U.S. was a net exporter of crude and petroleum for one week in November. For the week that ended Nov. 30, the U.S. exported a record 3.2 million barrels per day of crude oil and 5.8 million barrels per day of petroleum products. That marked the first time since 1991 that the country exported more crude and petroleum products than it imported.

However, the country is not yet considered a net exporter of energy on an annual basis by the agency – though it could be soon. The EIA estimates that by 2020 the U.S. could reach that milestone for the first time since the 1950s due to increased production of crude oil and natural gas.

As noted by the EIA, the U.S. has been a net exporter of coal for decades – a trend expected to continue through 2050. It became a net exporter of natural gas in 2017.

However, since 1953, the country – on the whole – has imported more energy than it has traded to other countries.

In addition to the above claims, the president on Tuesday said that the country is undergoing a “revolution in American energy” as the U.S. becomes the “number one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world.”


The EIA said U.S. crude production averaged 10.9 million barrels per day in 2018 – its highest level and largest growth volume on record. The agency forecasts production will average 12.1 million barrels per day in 2019.

Natural gas production also reached a record high production volume of 83.3 billion cubic feet per day, with expectations those figures will increase through 2020.