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Andy Nguyen
By Andy Nguyen February 28, 2022

No, the U.S. did not end its domestic oil production. But it does import some of its oil from Russia

If Your Time is short

  • The U.S. imports oil from about 80 countries. 
  • The federal government never ended domestic oil production in the U.S.

A Facebook post claims the United States should restart its domestic oil production to replace the loss of crude oil it bought from Russia amid the country’s increased hostilities against Ukraine.

The Feb. 19 post uses a still image from the 2008 movie "Marley & Me" featuring the actor Owen Wilson. Below the still image is a block of text mentioning the possibility of the United States going to war with Russia.

"Considering how we buy 206,000 barrels of oil a day from them, if I was running this country and had shut down domestic oil production a year ago, I'd be starting that up again pretty darn quick," the text reads. "I wonder why we're not doing that."

Although the post was made prior to Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, it’s still an apparent reference to the increased hostilities between the two countries and the possibility of the U.S. being drawn into the conflict.

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

The chance of the U.S. going to war is low as President Joe Biden announced Feb. 24 American forces "will not be engaged in the conflict with Russia in Ukraine."

While the post doesn’t cite where it got the figure from, the federal Energy Information Administration reported the U.S. did receive 206,000 barrels of crude oil a day from Russia in October 2021.

However, that number is fairly miniscule when placed in the larger context of U.S. oil imports.

Crude oil is the largest source of energy imported into the U.S., according to the EIA.

The U.S. imported around 7.86 million barrels of petroleum products, including crude oil, per day in 2020 from about 80 countries. Around 5.88 million barrels, or 75% of imported petroleum products, was crude oil, the EIA reported.

Complete statistics for 2021 were not available from the EIA.

The top five sources of imported petroleum in 2020 were Canada, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Colombia, the federal agency reported.

Canada accounted for 52% of the imported petroleum, with 4.13 billion barrels per day coming into the U.S. from the north in 2020. Of that amount, 3.59 million was crude oil.

Russia on the other hand, accounted for only 7% of the petroleum brought into the U.S. for 2020, with only 540,000 barrels per day. Of that amount, 76,000 barrels were of crude oil, according to the EIA.

Historical importation data from the EIA also shows the amount of petroleum and oil the U.S. receives from Russia fluctuates and has not been a steady source like Canada.

The Facebook post also claims the U.S. ended its domestic oil production a year ago, but provides no source for the information.

The claim might be a misrepresentation of an executive order issued by Biden on Jan. 27, 2021, pausing any new federal oil and gas lease sales on government-owned land and waterways, "pending completion of a comprehensive review and reconsideration of Federal oil and gas permitting and leasing practices."

However, a federal judge struck down the order that June, saying only Congress has the authority to pause oil and gas leasing, The Washington Post reported.

Oil production remains unphased in the U.S., even when the order was in effect, and the federal government was on track this year to auction off oil and gas drilling rights on more than 1.5 million acres of public land, the Post reported.

The EIA also reported earlier this year that domestic crude oil production is expected to top 12.4 million barrels per day by 2023, surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

Our ruling

A Facebook post said that the United States buys "206,000 barrels of oil a day" from Russia but "had shut down domestic oil production a year ago."

The post gets the number of barrels right, but the U.S. has not shut down domestic production. 

Domestic oil production is on track to surpass pre-pandemic levels.

Oil imports from Russia to the U.S. are only a small fraction of the country’s total imports.

We rate this claim Mostly False.

Our Sources

Facebook post, Feb 19, 2022

Archive of Feb. 19, 2022 Facebook post

The New York Times, "The Invasion of Ukraine: How Russia Attacked and What Happens Next," Feb. 24, 2022

The White House, "Remarks by President Biden on Russia’s Unprovoked and Unjustified Attack on Ukraine," Feb. 24, 2022

U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Imports from Russia, accessed Feb. 25, 2022

U.S. Energy Information Administration, "U.S. energy facts explained," accessed Feb. 25, 2022

U.S. Energy Information Administration, "How much petroleum does the United States import and export," accessed Feb. 25, 2022

U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Imports from Canada, accessed Feb. 25, 2022

The White House, Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, Jan. 27, 2021

The Washington Post, "Biden outpaces Trump in issuing drilling permits on public lands," Jan. 27, 2022

U.S. Energy Information Administration, "EIA expects annual U.S. crude oil production to surpass pre-pandemic levels in 2023," Jan. 11, 2022

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No, the U.S. did not end its domestic oil production. But it does import some of its oil from Russia

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