Oil and product prices are putting in what should be a major seasonal bottom as global oil demand surges and the U.S. Petroleum Industry looks to fill the globe’s needs. In fact, the U.S. petroleum industry is doing their part to try to reduce the trade gap by exporting record amounts of oil and products. The U.S. shale revolution is touching the world in ways thought unimaginable by many just a few years ago.
In a new report, yesterday by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said that U.S. crude oil exports grew to an average of 1.1 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2017, the second full year since restrictions on crude oil exports were removed. Crude oil exports in 2017 were nearly double the level of exports in 2016. Increased U.S. crude oil exports were supported by increasing U.S. crude oil production and expanded infrastructure.
The EIA said that U.S. crude oil exports went to 37 destinations in 2017, compared with 27 destinations in 2016. Like previous years, Canada remained the largest destination for U.S. crude oil exports, but Canada’s share of total U.S. crude oil exports continued to decrease, down from 61% in 2016 to 29% in 2017. U.S. crude oil exports to China accounted for 202,000 b/d (20%) of the 527,000 b/d total increase. China surpassed the United Kingdom and the Netherlands to become the second-largest destination for U.S. crude oil exports in 2017.
The EIA said that many European nations are among the largest destinations for U.S. crude oil exports, including the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Italy, France, and Spain. India, which did not receive U.S. crude oil exports in 2016, received 22,000 b/d in 2017, tying with Spain as the tenth-largest destination.
Yet, while the world may covet Shale light crude there is a much tighter market for heavier grades. With U.S. oil and global demand ready to take off we should see oil gasoline and distillate start to take off. Recent whipsaw trading, based on stock market and political fears, should taper off as the market has to come to grips with the fact that based on strong demand versus current and expected supply, we will see the tightest market in years.