Ironically, the UK imports large amounts of fuel as well. The seeming stupidity of exporting large amounts of fuel while at the same time importing it will make little sense to most.
If large numbers of people are doing somthing seemingly stupid it\’s worth evaluating your own prejudices about stupidity.
There is actually a good reason why we both import and export crude oil.
Because crude oil comes in different forms, heavy and light, sweet and sour (to do with sulphur content) and so on. And the stuff that we produce in the UK isn\’t quite right for the mixture of fuels that we actually want from crude oil. The wrong complex mix of bitumen, diesel, heating oil, petrol and avgas.
So, what we do is we export some of our stuff and buy in some of the other stuff which has different characteristics and this then gives us the right mix of products we want from our refineries.
It\’s like complaining that the UK both imports and exports food. Well, yes, we do, we export things like beef which grow well on our pasturelands and we import things like tomatoes which don\’t grow well in our climate.