The United States still imports about 45 percent of its total oil use, but that number is down from 60 percent in 2005.
While we're still dependent on international sources for 45 percent of our oil, January's Chinese oil export illustrates how much things have changed.
Loading 11 million gallons of oil onto a ship and sailing it halfway around the world is not a thrifty prospect. But apparently when the tanker reached American soil earlier this year, it couldn't find a market — a scenario that would not have happened just a few years ago.
It seems there was too much oil from North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas and other parts of the country to make that particular shipment of oil needed.
So the tanker backed up, turned around and headed to China instead.
If the country's oil producers have their way, this kind of story will become much more common.