US Oil Trade Favors Russia Over Saudi Arabia

Copyright © 2021 Energy Intelligence Group

• Opportunistic buying of crude oil and mostly refined fuels has boosted US imports from Russia. • Saudi Arabia is selling less in the Atlantic Basin, to the US especially, and focuses more on more high-margin Asia. • US oil demand rose in the spring as gasoline and petrochemical feedstock lead a post-pandemic recovery. US fuel imports were the highest for the year in May, and much of the new imports came from Russia, where refinery outages and a pause in Asian and European buying forced traders to look for willing buyers. This abrupt change allowed US refiners and traders to pick up from Russia three various barrels: Discounted crude, unfinished oils for refinery feedstock, and finished products for blendstock, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). A total 844,000 barrels per day of Russian fuel found its way to US shores in May, making Moscow the second-largest oil supplier to the US after Canada. Back to the US Russia even delivered more crude oil to the US than Saudi Arabia -- 277,000 b/d versus 255,000 b/d -- a coincidental reversal of trade flows that has deliberately nudged the Saudis, the enforcers for output quotas in the Opec-plus alliance, toward Asia where they can claim the highest prices for their crude. Russia's flows to the US were also economy-driven. Opec-plus' largest producer delivered some 100,000 b/d of East Siberia-Pacific Ocean crude, 30,000 b/d each of Varandey and Sokol, and 20,000 b/d of Urals to the US in May. Among the cargoes was also 100,000 b/d of crude from the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) pipeline, which is mostly fed by three large fields in Kazakhstan but loads in the Russian port of Novorossiysk. Kazakhstan is also a member of the Opec-plus alliance and itself also delivered 66,000 b/d of crude and products to the US in May. EIA data show that Saudi Arabia landed an average 380,000 b/d of crude in the US in June and July while Russia delivered 270,000 b/d -- a reversal toward more traditional volumes. Still, Russia delivers more products than the kingdom. US Oil Trade With Opec-Plus May '21 US Imports US Exports US Net

Russian producers will boost crude oil supplies to world markets in the final quarter of the year now that production is rising and domestic demand is on the wane.
Thu, Sep 16, 2021
Public pressure and high natural gas prices may not be enough to solve the methane waste problem plaguing the Permian Basin.
Fri, Sep 17, 2021
Most Read
Production of hydrocarbon liquids outside the Opec-plus alliance will peak in 2025, our medium-term outlook shows, the inevitable result of lower investments upstream.
Thu, Sep 16, 2021