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U.S. Imports of Saudi Crude Won’t Stay Zero for Long

In the final week of 2020, the U.S. imported no crude from Saudi Arabia for the first time in 35 years. But it’s not quite the historic moment it might seem at first sight.

As recently as 2017, the desert kingdom was regularly sending more than 1 million barrels a day of its crude across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to the U.S. Within the space of four years that market has all but disappeared, as the shale industry boomed for a second time and then demand collapsed with the pandemic.

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