U.S. crude oil exports of nearly 1.8 million barrels a day were the top petroleum product export in the first half of 2018.
Crude oil exports surpassed hydrocarbon gas liquids or HGL exports of 1.6 million barrels a day, according to a report by the Department of Energy. HGLs are defined as natural gas liquids like ethane, propane and olefins like ethylene, and propylene used in plastics manufacturing.
U.S. ports and crude oil pipeline and storage companies have been racing to build out pipelines, gathering systems, storage and export terminals along the Texas Gulf Coast to meet the demand for exports.
The largest market for crude oil exports between Jan. and June 2018 was China, which took in 376,000 barrels of oil a day. The second largest importer was Canada at 334,000 barrels a day.
The Asian market was the largest for imported U.S. crude at 744,000 barrels a day, while Europe came in second at 556,000 barrels a day.
In June a new monthly record for U.S. crude oil exports was made when the country exported 2.2 million barrels a day, according to the Energy Department.
Total crude oil and petroleum product exports for the first six months of 2018 hit a record 7.3 million barrels a day.