• 5 minutes 'No - Deal Brexit' vs 'Operation Fear' Globalist Pushback ... Impact to World Economies and Oil
  • 8 minutes China has *Already* Lost the Trade War. Meantime, the U.S. Might Sanction China’s Largest Oil Company
  • 12 minutes Will Uncle Sam Step Up and Cut Production
  • 2 hours A legitimate Request: France Wants Progress In Ukraine Before Russia Returns To G7
  • 9 hours Danish Royal Palace ‘Surprised’ By Trump Canceling Trip
  • 10 hours Recession Jitters Are Rising. Is There Reason To Worry?
  • 31 mins Used Thin Film Solar Panels at 15 Cents per Watt
  • 4 hours IS ANOTHER MIDDLE EAST WAR REQUIRED TO BOLSTER THE OIL PRICE
  • 1 hour China has invested btw $30 - $40 Billon in Canadian Oil Sands. Trump should put 10% tariffs on all Chinese oil exported into or thru U.S. in which Chinese companies have invested .
  • 16 hours Wonders of US Shale: US Shale Benefits: The U.S. leads global petroleum and natural gas production with record growth in 2018
  • 2 hours Strait Of Hormuz As a Breakpoint: Germany Not Taking Part In U.S. Naval Mission
  • 18 mins US to Drown the World in Oil
  • 16 hours US Shale Economic Impact: GDP gain realized in shale boom’s first 10 years
  • 16 hours TRUMP'S FORMER 'CHRISTIAN LIAISON' SAYS DEEPWATER HORIZON DISASTER WAS GOD'S PUNISHMENT FOR OBAMA ISRAEL DIVISION
  • 15 hours Domino Effect: Rashida Tlaib Rejects Israel's Offer For 'Humanitarian' Visit To West Bank
  • 1 hour LA Solar Power/Storage Contract
  • 14 hours NATGAS, LNG, Technology, benefits etc , cleaner global energy fuel
  • 1 hour Iran Is Winning Big In The Middle East
Alt Text

Oil Plunges On Trade War Escalation

Oil prices plunged on Friday…

Alt Text

Buying The Dip In The Markets

Worries about the U.S., China…

Matt Smith

Matt Smith

Taking a voyage across the world of energy with ClipperData’s Director of Commodity Research. Follow on Twitter @ClipperData, @mattvsmith01

More Info

Premium Content

The Drastic Drop Off In U.S. Oil Imports

While the dust may now have settled on last week's OPEC meeting, the cartel's impact on U.S. oil inventories is set to linger on. Stocks are at their lowest level since January 2016, and are down over 80 million barrels from their peak in March - in spite of a 30 million barrel injection from the SPR.

As we head into the holiday season, the U.S. should expect little in the way of holiday cheer from OPEC flows.

U.S. imports of OPEC crude have averaged 3.26 million barrels per day through the first eleven months of this year, a smidge higher than last year's average.

Although imports started out the year at 3.7mn bpd in January, the highest monthly level since 2013, we have seen them dropping below the 3mn bpd mark in recent months - led by a significant drop in deliveries from Saudi Arabia.

(Click to enlarge)

After achieving monthly year-over-year gains since late 2015, OPEC imports to the U.S. dropped to a deficit in July. The deficit has been maintained over the four months since - although the YoY drops in August and September were exacerbated by hurricane-induced disruptions. Related: Fear Will Drive Oil Prices Higher In 2018

October and November imports have rebounded close to the 3mn bpd mark, but not enough to help imports clamber back to a year-over-year surplus. As for this month, December's OPEC imports are almost certainly going to finish at a deficit to last year's level, given a pre-OPEC-production-cut-deal ramp-up last Yuletide.

(Click to enlarge)

Saudi arrivals rebounded in November, but by no means to the level witnessed in recent years.

In late October, we went 'Back to the Future', highlighting how Saudi crude imports to the U.S. dropped below the level of Iraqi imports for the first month since 1984 (teeing up the movie reference). Related: Oil Markets Calm After OPEC Storm

We have seen Saudi imports just edge out Iraqi flows in November, but this tussle looks set to persist - as Saudi shows OPEC compliance discipline via lower exports, while Iraq does not. (n.b. the U.S. doesn't receive crude from northern Iraq, where flows have dropped - only from Basra, in the southern part of the country).

(Click to enlarge)

We spoke about lower Venezuelan crude flows to the U.S. last week. But we have also seen lower NAF and WAF (North African, West African) flows in the last month. Imports from Angola have dropped off, as it has favored sending crude to its leading destination, Angola, instead.

Libyan imports have dropped off too, sending higher flows to Europe and Asia instead, while Algerian loadings of Saharan blend bound for the U.S. were completely absent in October - for the first month since January 2015 - also favoring Asia.

(Click to enlarge)

By Matt Smith

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage


Leave a comment
  • Red Bull on December 06 2017 said:
    2.4 million bbls removed from the SPR again this week. Where did this go Cushing? I like how the US uses the SPR as a wild card to drive down price. How long can they keep it up?

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play