In the decade from January 2000 through December 2010, U.S. exports of oil products like gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, etc., grew by nearly 160%. The exports averaged 1.1 million barrels per day for that period.
According to the Energy Information Administration’s data, we export nearly five times that much now.
The shale boom in places like the Permian Basin of Texas spurred the growth in refined exports. The light sweet crude oil can be run through a simple refining process, put on a ship and sent abroad.
You can see the growth in the export chart below:
Our largest trading partners are our neighbors to the north and south. The table below shows the largest importers from January to August 2017:
As you can imagine, there are plenty of investment opportunities around this trend. The VanEck Vectors Oil Refiners ETF (NYSE: CRAK) is up 38% this year and climbing. Individual refiners, like Marathon Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: MPC) and Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE: VLO), are up 17% and 16% this year, respectively.
Thanks to the demand from abroad, refining is a great place to look for both investments and income. For example, Valero’s dividend increased from $0.50 per quarter in 2015 to $0.70 per quarter in 2017.
Editor, Real Wealth Strategist