US energy imports hit two-decade low

The United States imported a net 12.7 quadrillion British thermal units (BTU) of energy in 2013, the lowest import level in 28 years.

The last time net imports were lower than 2013 was in 1985, when the U.S. brought in 7.6 quadrillion BTU, the Energy Information Administration said Wednesday. The EIA tracked imports every five years until 2000.

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“Growth in the production of oil and natural gas displaced imports and supported increased petroleum product exports, driving most of the decline,” the EIA said in a Wednesday statement. “A large drop in energy imports together with a smaller increase in energy exports led to a 19 percent decrease in net energy imports from 2012 to 2013.”

Total energy imports fell 9 percent, the EIA said. Crude oil imports dropped 12 percent, due largely to a 15 percent increase in U.S. oil production.

The International Energy Agency similarly reported last year that the U.S. is the closest it has been in two decades to energy independence.