The country’s net oil import bill surged 78 percent in the first three months$2.137 billion from $1.2 billion a year ago on higher crude prices.
Data from the Energy Department showed the net import volume from January to March reached 38.410 million barrels, up from 36.065 million barrels over the same period last year.
Oil imports hit 42.064 million barrels composed of crudes, finished products and other products amounting to $2.383 billion, up from 39.710 million barrels equivalent to $1.405 billion a year ago.
Exports of petroleum products slightly rose to 3.655 million barrels in the first three months from 3.645 million barrels a year earlier.
Net oil import bill in 2016 declined 12.3 percent to $6.78 billion from $7.73 billion in 2015 on lower oil prices. Oil import volume increased 8.3 percent last year to 149.304 million barrels from 137.907 million barrels in 2015.