A first in decades, the U.S. had been predicted to become a net energy exporter in 2020, but the pandemic increased its domestic demands.
In May 2020, the U.S. exported and imported nearly equal amounts of energy, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Even though it had been a net exporter of energy in several months of the past year, the decline in global demands hindered the country's energy independence, particularly for crude oil and petroleum products. Energy exports decreased 15 percent, and imports dropped 15 percent compared with May 2019 following the shelter-in-place orders.
However, it is true that in 2019, the U.S exported more energy on an annual basis than it imported for the first time but in 67 years. Last year, the EIA predicted that the U.S. would start exporting more crude oil and petroleum products than it imports by the final quarter of 2020, remaining a net exporter through 2050.