Oil, the US Export Like Kuwait

crude oil

crude oilUntil two years ago, the crude oil could not leave North America. Today, "made in the USA" oil reaches every corner of the world with volumes to be envied in many Opec countries and wonders to what extent exports will continue to grow. They were just 25,000 barrels a day a decade ago, before the miracle shale oil, rose to 600,000 barrels a day last year, the first after the complete liberalization of exports, and now they are more than tripled.

In the last month, US crude oil exports exceeded 1.7 million barrels a day on average, volumes similar to those of Nigeria, Africa's largest crude producer, and last week burned the record with 2.13 million barrels a day, comparable supplies to Kuwait (or the whole the North Sea if you want to look beyond the Opec circle).

Growth, exponential and rapid, has surprised many observers. Not so much for the causes, which are obvious: demand now exceeds the supply of crude oil, the US still produce excess and its barrels are paid better abroad since Brent has risen to $ 7 a barrel more than WTI.

The surprise stems rather from the fact that up to a few months ago, as Rbc Capital Markets recalls, analysts' consensus was that Washington could not export more than 1.2-1.5 million barrels a day in the short-term due to structural limits of the transport system.

The Canadian investment bank calculates, instead, that there is already the theoretical possibility of up to 3.2 million barrels a day. The Pira Group has a slightly different estimate: the export capacity is 2.7 million barrels a day and will reach 3.3 million barrels a day in 2018.

Accurate and incontrovertible figures actually there are not. The only certainty is that the upgrading of American ports and pipelines are making tremendous strides.

The Corpus Christi terminal in Texas, well connected to shale oil wells, has already tested in April the entry of Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC), which for now cannot load into the USA.

From next year these sea giants might also be able to start off from the Loop, a huge offshore port of Louisiana, which the United States has so far only used to import oil.

Seasonalgo, seasonal trading, spread trading, commodity market


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