An American flag flies on top of a Unit Drilling Co. rig in the Bakken Formation in this aerial photograph taken outside Watford City, North Dakota, U.S. (Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

Citi Says U.S. May Become World's Top Oil Exporter Next Year

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. looks likely to overtake Saudi Arabia to become the world’s biggest oil exporter next year, according to Citigroup Inc.

With American production surging to unprecedented levels as OPEC continues curbing output, the U.S. is on course to be the top exporter of crude and oil products in 2019, Citigroup said in an April 25 note. American exports of crude oil and petroleum products rose to a record 8.3 million barrels a day last week, according to U.S. government data on Wednesday. That compares with top exporter Saudi Arabia’s 9.3 million barrels a day in January, and Russia’s shipments of 7.4 million barrels a day, the bank said.

Continuing efforts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies to curb output and reduce a global glut has helped boost West Texas Intermediate crude futures to their highest levels since 2014. But that’s also sparked a surge in production from shale drillers, with output continuing to hit fresh records. Whether OPEC and its partners begin tapering their cut deal early in fear of the growing threat to their market share from the U.S. remains to be seen, Citigroup said.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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