The UK became a net importer of petroleum products last year, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Fossil fuels, including natural gas, coal and petroleum, currently represent most of the UK’s energy usage, accounting for 86% of total primary energy consumption in 2012.
The EIA stated: “Refiners in the UK and throughout Europe face increasing challenges, including higher crudes costs and decreasing competitiveness in export markets, due in part to the rapid growth of tight oil and shale gas production in the United States which is reflected in refinery shutdowns and lower utilisation rates for European refiners, including those in the UK, leading the UK to become a net importer of petroleum products in 2013.”
The UK was a natural gas exporter for almost a decade but started importing it starting in 2004 as usage rose and production declined, the EIA said.
It added that with the opening of North Sea production, the UK became a significant net exporter of crude oil beginning in the 1980s but has been a net importer since 2005.