Crude oil imports into the United States continue to decline, according to a recent article by UPI. The article states that the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that the United States imported around 7.4 million barrels of oil for the week ending Oct. 10, which is down 7.4 percent from the same week in 2013.

At the same time, EIA data shows that the United States produced 8.8 million bpd for the first full week of October, up nearly 18 percent from the same time last year, the article states. “By next year, EIA expects total U.S. crude oil production to reach 9.5 million barrels per day, which would be the highest annual average crude oil production since 1970 if realized.”

President Barack Obama said in a recent economic address that the country is producing more than it imports for the first time in nearly two decades. He set a goal in 2012 to cut imports by half by 2020, but expects to meet that goal six years ahead of schedule.

UPI also reports that U.S. imports into the Gulf Coast region are at six-year lows because shale output is suppressing the need for foreign oil. The article quotes an OPEC production report stating that the United States is becoming more self-reliant because of oil production from inland shale deposits. “U.S. imports to the Gulf Coast have touched six-year lows in recent months as domestic shale production reduced the need for foreign crude, particularly from West Africa,” the OPEC report states.

Improved U.S. oil production is also contributing to lower heating oil prices. EIA reports that as of October 20, 2014, the average heating oil price on the East Coast is about 33 cents lower than it was one year earlier.

To read the UPI article, click here.