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Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.

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OPEC Oil Exports To The U.S. Fall To Five-Year Low

The United States received in December the lowest volume of OPEC-derived crude oil in five years, according to market intelligence firm Kpler and data from Refinitive Eikon, cited by Reuters on Thursday.

1.63 million bpd of oil from OPEC member countries made its way to US shores in December, down from 1.80 million bpd in November and 1.78 million bpd in October. Saudi Arabia shipped 534,000 barrels per day to the United States in December, a near 100,000 bpd drop from November. Algeria’s shipments were also down almost 100,000 bpd, and Nigeria’s shipments to the US dipped by almost 50,000 bpd.

Iraq, on the other hand, increased crude oil shipments to the United States by 140,000 bpd, and for somewhat of a shock, Venezuela shipped 22,738 barrels per day more to the US in December, although the long-term trend here shows a steady decline in Venezuela’s oil exports to the US, which were around 912,000 bpd in 2012, falling to 618,000 bpd by 2017, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports to the US have also been falling steadily in recent years, from 1.361 million bpd in 2012 to 1.052 million bpd in 2015, and then to 949,000 bpd by 2017.

The United States has been imported less crude oil altogether—not just less OPEC crude. With the rise of US shale, the United States has cut its thirst for foreign crude oil from 262.8 million barrels per month in January 2017 to 226.6 million in October 2018—the last month for which there is data, according to the EIA.

Canada’s exports to the United States, according to the EIA, are holding fast between 3.3 million bpd and 3.5 million bpd for most of 2017 and 2018.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh G Salameh on January 04 2019 said:
    OPEC is well advised to cut its oil exports to the United States altogether since these exports help augment US crude oil inventories thus enabling the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) to claim significant build-up in US crude and products inventories.

    Moreover, OPEC is also well advised to adopt the petro-yuan in preference to the petrodollar since 80% of their oil exports go to the Asia-Pacific region particularly China. In so doing, OPEC can mitigate the adverse impact of US manipulation of oil prices on the oil export revenues of its members and to some extent on oil prices.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London
  • Jo Mack on January 04 2019 said:
    This is an interesting article about the reduction of crude oil imports to the U.S. from countries that have spare capacity. It should be interested to see the import levels to the U.S. if oil prices continue for WTI in the $45.00 range. Also, it looks like inventory at Cushing fell 4.5 million bbls last week. Perhaps the doom and gloom for oil demand may just be in the minds of the traders?

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