• 2 hours Bidding Action Heats Up In UK’s Continental Shelf
  • 7 hours Keystone Pipeline Restart Still Unknown
  • 11 hours UK Offers North Sea Oil Producers Tax Relief To Boost Investment
  • 13 hours Iraq Wants To Build Gas Pipeline To Kuwait In Blow To Shell
  • 15 hours Trader Trafigura Raises Share Of Oil Purchases From State Firms
  • 17 hours German Energy Group Uniper Rejects $9B Finnish Takeover Bid
  • 18 hours Total Could Lose Big If It Pulls Out Of South Pars Deal
  • 20 hours Dakota Watchdog Warns It Could Revoke Keystone XL Approval
  • 2 days Oil Prices Rise After API Reports Major Crude Draw
  • 2 days Citgo President And 5 VPs Arrested On Embezzlement Charges
  • 2 days Gazprom Speaks Out Against OPEC Production Cut Extension
  • 2 days Statoil Looks To Lighter Oil To Boost Profitability
  • 2 days Oil Billionaire Becomes Wind Energy’s Top Influencer
  • 2 days Transneft Warns Urals Oil Quality Reaching Critical Levels
  • 2 days Whitefish Energy Suspends Work In Puerto Rico
  • 2 days U.S. Authorities Arrest Two On Major Energy Corruption Scheme
  • 2 days Thanksgiving Gas Prices At 3-Year High
  • 2 days Iraq’s Giant Majnoon Oilfield Attracts Attention Of Supermajors
  • 3 days South Iraq Oil Exports Close To Record High To Offset Kirkuk Drop
  • 3 days Iraqi Forces Find Mass Graves In Oil Wells Near Kirkuk
  • 3 days Chevron Joint Venture Signs $1.7B Oil, Gas Deal In Nigeria
  • 3 days Iraq Steps In To Offset Falling Venezuela Oil Production
  • 3 days ConocoPhillips Sets Price Ceiling For New Projects
  • 5 days Shell Oil Trading Head Steps Down After 29 Years
  • 5 days Higher Oil Prices Reduce North American Oil Bankruptcies
  • 6 days Statoil To Boost Exploration Drilling Offshore Norway In 2018
  • 6 days $1.6 Billion Canadian-US Hydropower Project Approved
  • 6 days Venezuela Officially In Default
  • 6 days Iran Prepares To Export LNG To Boost Trade Relations
  • 6 days Keystone Pipeline Leaks 5,000 Barrels Into Farmland
  • 6 days Saudi Oil Minister: Markets Will Not Rebalance By March
  • 6 days Obscure Dutch Firm Wins Venezuelan Oil Block As Debt Tensions Mount
  • 6 days Rosneft Announces Completion Of World’s Longest Well
  • 7 days Ecuador Won’t Ask Exemption From OPEC Oil Production Cuts
  • 7 days Norway’s $1 Trillion Wealth Fund Proposes To Ditch Oil Stocks
  • 7 days Ecuador Seeks To Clear Schlumberger Debt By End-November
  • 7 days Santos Admits It Rejected $7.2B Takeover Bid
  • 7 days U.S. Senate Panel Votes To Open Alaskan Refuge To Drilling
  • 7 days Africa’s Richest Woman Fired From Sonangol
  • 8 days Oil And Gas M&A Deal Appetite Highest Since 2013
Alt Text

Tesla To Spike, Then Crash

Electric car giant Tesla is…

U.S. Lifted The Crude Oil Export Ban, And Exports Went…Down

U.S. Lifted The Crude Oil Export Ban, And Exports Went…Down

Just over three months after the authorities lifted the four-decade ban on crude oil exports, the U.S. has actually exported less this year than it did over the same period the year before, when the ban was still in place.

According to Clipper Data market intelligence cited by the Financial Times, we’ve seen a 5 percent decline in U.S. crude oil export volumes since the beginning of this year. The data suggests that on average we are exporting (waterborne) 325,000 barrels per day now, compared to 342,000 barrels per day during the first months of 2015.

And there’s no official data yet—not since the beginning of this year, when the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) noted that during the week ending 22 January, the U.S. had exported just shy of 400,000 barrels of oil, which again was 25 percent less than what was exported for the same week in 2014. Related: Brussel’s Terror Attack Drives Europe Further Into Terrorism Rabbit Hole

An oil tanker that reached a French port in January was the first post-ban delivery of U.S. crude oil, but things haven’t really picked up pace since then.

January’s cargoes, totaling about 11.3 million barrels, marked a 7 percent decline from U.S. crude exports in December, according to data by the U.S. Census Bureau. Shipments during January went to Curacao and France, in addition to Canada, the primary destination. The total number of tankers that have set sail with U.S. crude oil will not be known until comprehensive data on February’s shipments is released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The immediate beneficiaries of the ban suspension are gas and oil companies such as Chevron and Exxon Mobil—among the most tireless lobbyers against the ban—and oil trading giants such as Vitol Group BV and Trafigura Ltd Pet.

Europe and Asia are flooded with oil from Russia and the Middle East, though the first two shipments to leave the U.S. post-export ban went to Europe: one to Germany and the other to France, to be used in a refinery in Switzerland. Dutch media outlets reported in January that a tanker from Houston had reached Rotterdam port, but this remains just a drop in the global export bucket. Related: China And India Rewrite The Rules Of The Oil And Gas Game

In Asia, even China’s state-run Sinopec—the world’s second-largest refiner—has imported a consignment of U.S. oil, according to a Reuters source. Japan's Cosmo Oil was the first Asian buyer of U.S. oil, purchasing some 300,000 barrels of U.S. crude in mid-January, which will be delivered to its refineries in mid-April.

The very first South American country that will import U.S. crude oil is Venezuela. In early February, Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA imported a 550,000-barrel cargo of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) through its U.S.-based Citgo Petroleum affiliate. Venezuela started importing foreign crudes in 2014 amid a fall in its own production - buying mostly Angolan and Nigerian light grades.

WTI is also expected to be exported to Israel, where Swiss commodities house Trafigura will ship some 700,000 barrels. Atlantic Trading & Marketing, the U.S. trading unit of French Total SA, has been planning an export cargo of U.S. crude from Cushing. Related: Oil Prices Continue To Tumble As Supply Glut Fears Return

Also, earlier this month, Exxon became the first U.S. oil company to export U.S. crude, sending a tanker from Texas to a refinery it owns in Italy.

However, storage is now at the highest level in at least a decade. U.S., crude storage levels hit 487 million barrels in early November, closing in on the 80-year high of 518 million barrels in the last week of February. According to the EIA, about 60 percent of the U.S. working storage capacity is filled.

Globally, the picture isn’t much better, with the International Energy Agency (IEA) saying that 1 billion barrels were added to storage in 2015 alone. OPEC has reported that crude oil stockpiles in OECD countries currently exceed the running five-year average by 210 million barrels.

By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Back to homepage


Leave a comment
  • SJ on March 28 2016 said:
    Am I missing something here? If the ban on crude export was lifted only 3 months ago, how were we exporting 342,000 barrels per day during the first months of 2015?
  • Jeffrey J. Brown on March 29 2016 said:
    Note that what the EIA calls "Crude oil" is actually Crude + Condensate (C+C), and the most common dividing line between crude & condensate is 45 API Gravity. The maximum upper API limit for WTI crude oil is 42 API Gravity.

    Based on most recent year over year four week running average EIA data:

    Week ending 3/20/15 (million bpd):

    C+C Exports: 0.5
    C+C* Imports: 7.3
    Net C+C Imports: 6.8
    Net Total Liquids Imports: 4.8


    Week ending 3/18/16:

    C+C Exports: 0.4 (-0.1)
    C+C* Imports: 8.1 (+0.8)
    Net C+C Imports: 7.7 (+0.9)
    Net Total Liquids Imports: 5.3 (+0.5)

    *Presumably all actual crude oil (why would US refiners import condensate?)


    In my opinion, we have both a US and a global oversupply of condensate, and these numbers seem to serve as additional confirmation of that assertion. I suspect that US, and perhaps global, refiners hit the limit in late 2014 of how much condensate that they could process, if they wanted to maintain their output of distillate and heavier refined products, and I suspect that most, if not all, of the post-2014 build in US C+C inventories consists of condensate.

    And my contention is that the global production/inventory oversupply is a house of cards built on an unstable foundation of actual global crude oil production (45 API & lower crude oil) that requires vast upstream capex in order to keep actual crude oil production from crashing:

    http://oilpro.com/post/22276/estimates-post-2005-us-opec-global-condensate-production-vs-actua

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News