An Energy Information Administration report released Wednesday stated that crude oil production in the United States is now at its highest level since May, 1989. Fracking is of course a major contributor to this increase.

The first thing that pops into most people’s heads when they hear news like this is, “why are gas and diesel so expensive if we’re producing so much crude?” The answer is because there’s a big difference between crude oil and refined products. 
 
The US retains the vast majority of its crude (currently exporting less than 2% to Canada and less than 0.2% to China), while refined products are exported all over the world. In other words, refiners sell their gas and diesel where it makes the most financial sense. That could be domestically or it could be internationally. 
 
So an increase in domestic crude oil production is great news for US refiners, who can generally purchase that oil cheaper than imported crude. Just don’t expect these refiners to keep their products in the US out of the kindness of their hearts. 
 
Guess which other transportation fuel will also be increasingly sold on the global market over the upcoming decades: Natural gas. This fuel will certainly be cheaper than diesel for the foreseeable future, but international demand will increase in the long term. And producers will continue to sell their product where it will make the most money, whether it’s domestically or internationally.