The US is the world's largest oil producer
A number of factors have caused major shifts in the US energy trade balance, which is the component of the trade balance that reflects energy imports and exports. Firstly, its shale gas and shale oil production have been booming since 2009. The US is currently the world's largest oil producer, whereas it still ranked third in 2008. The country's leading position has dramatically reduced its need for oil imports. Domestic demand for oil fell even further as increased availability of shale gas produced at home prompted many US firms to switch from oil to gas. Secondly, the ban on exporting domestically produced oil under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) was lifted in 2015. The proportion of own-produced oil destined for exports has grown to around 20% since then. Together, these two trends have narrowed the deficit on the US oil trade balance from some 2.5% of GDP in 2008 to 0.2% of GDP in May 2019. At the same time, the US trade deficit shrank by almost 2% of GDP since 2009. This means deficit reduction can be more than fully attributed to improved oil trade performance.