United States base oil production for the first half of 2023 dropped to its lowest half-year total since 2020, and the lowest since 2009 in a non-pandemic year, as a number of facilities faced turnovers and reduced output. Meanwhile, imports and exports remained rock solid in the post-pandemic era, and little changed in where the country is sourcing its domestic production.
Net production reached just 26.7 million barrels of base oil from January through June this year, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That total is down 11% from 30.1 million barrels in the first half of 2022 and 8.5% from 29.2 million barrels in the first half of 2021.
While 26.7 million barrels still top the 25.9 million barrels the country produced in the first half of 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, one would have to go all the way back to the first half of 2009 to find a lower total in a non-pandemic year. During that period, the country produced 24.9 million barrels.