Where Is U.S. Exporting Oil?

Export Tanker Crude Leaving The U.S.

It has only been three months since the U.S. lifted a 40-year ban on oil exports.  So, it may be surprising that American crude is flowing to virtually every corner of the market and remaking the world’s energy map.

Overseas sales, which started on December 31 with a small cargo aboard the Theo T tanker have been picking up speed.  Exxon Mobil, China Petroleum, and Chemical Corp have joined independent traders Vitol Group and Trafigura in exporting American crude.

“The flurry of export activity is helping support spot oil prices in the U.S. relative to contracts for later delivery,” said Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects, Ltd in London.

American stockpiles are at unprecedented levels, so oil takers laden with U.S. crude have docked in, or are headed to France, Germany, the Netherlands, Israel, China, and Panama.  Oil traders said other destinations are likely.

One reason behind the rise in exports is cheap pipeline and railway fees to move crude from the fields in Texas, Oklahoma, and North Dakota into the ports of the U.S.  Another reason is that the U.S. prices have been trading at a discount to Brent crude, allowing traders to move oil from one shore of the Atlantic to another at a profit.

Source: “The U.S. Is Exporting Its Oil Everywhere, Javier Blas, BloombergBusiness, March 17, 2016