December 2012 saw the intersection of two global energy trends: the increasingly voracious energy appetite of China and the rapid surge of domestic energy production in the US. The result—for the first time ever, China overtook the US as the world’s leading oil importer.
"US net oil imports dropped to 5.98m barrels a day in December, the lowest since February 1992, according to provisional figures from the US Energy Information Administration. In the same month, China’s net oil imports surged to 6.12m b/d, according to Chinese customs."
"The US has been the world’s largest net importer of oil since the mid-1970s, shaping Washington’s foreign policy towards energy-rich countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Venezuela."