American imports of Saudi crude oil dropped to 943 b/d in 2017, a 14% decrease from 2016, according to US government statistics, CNN Money reported.
This is the lowest annual amount of crude imported by the US since 1988.
Saudi Arabia exported just 690,000 b/d of crude to the US in December 2017, a 32% year-on-year drop.
In contrast, Iraqi shipments to the US surpassed those from Saudi Arabia for the first time since 1985.
These latest figures suggest that the US is becoming less reliant on Saudi crude supplies as production from its domestic shale sector continues to increase. Additionally, Saudi Arabia began cutting shipments of oil to the US in 2017 in a bid to lower global production figures and boost oil prices, Bloomberg reported.
During his presidential campaign, US President Donald Trump made threats to halting all imports of oil from Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations if they did not do more to combat terrorism. However, since President Trump’s inauguration relations have warmed between the two heads of state and on March 19 Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in the United States seeking further US investment into the kingdom.