The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy Renaissance Continues to Help Grow Our Economy

Dean Foreman

Dean Foreman
Posted July 27, 2018

The U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) increased 4.1 percent in the second quarter at a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate, its best pace since 2014, driven by strong consumer and business spending as well as a surge in exports ahead of retaliatory tariffs from China. As the energy renaissance has continued to raise U.S. natural gas and oil production and exports to record levels, these abundant and affordable fuels and feedstocks contribute to the economy and — by themselves — generated nearly half of the growth in U.S. real exports in Q2.

Total U.S. petroleum exports (including crude oil and refined products) increased to 7.5 million barrels per day (mb/d) in June of this year, up from 6.1 mb/d in June 2017 per the latest API Monthly Statistical Report. Between the first and second quarters of 2018, total real U.S. goods exports and services increased by $56.4 billion – of which $27.5 billion was due solely to petroleum and refined products.

petroleum and crude oil exports

We’ve discussed this before, but it’s worth repeating. The record production of U.S. energy resources means far more than just gas prices at the pump. It brings solid economic growth and well-paying jobs, enhanced energy security, and advances us toward the promise of ongoing prosperity and opportunity for present and future generations.

The big thing about achieving record U.S. energy production and exports, which not long ago many people thought were impossible, is that we suddenly have much to gain or lose with U.S. energy dominance hanging in the balance. 

For our country to continue to reap the benefits of the energy renaissance, the right energy policies are critical. That means supporting increased access to offshore and onshore reserves, smart regulation that encourages safety without needlessly hampering progress, and promoting technology and infrastructure growth that facilitate energy development and delivery. At the same time, it also means avoiding policy decisions that work against American energy, consumers and the economy, such as the new tariffs and quotas on imported steel.  


Dr. R. Dean Foreman is API’s chief economist, specializing in energy and global business. With a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Florida, he came to API from Saudi Aramco Strategy & Market Analysis in Dhahran, where he managed short-term market monitoring and the long-term oil demand outlook. Foreman has more than 20 years of industry experience in corporate strategic planning, forecasting, finance / risk management and regulatory policy at ExxonMobil, Talisman Energy and Sasol North America.