In the LOOP: US imports fewer heavy sour crudes, despite supply crunch

Despite receiving fewer barrels of crude oil from Venezuela, US Gulf Coast refineries and terminals, including the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, have not started to import more heavy, sour crudes from other markets. On January 28, the US imposed sweeping sanctions on Venezuelan state PDVSA, which analysts widely expected would drastically cut US imports of Venezuelan crude and cause US refiners to seek alternative barrels from other Latin American countries and the Middle East. However, while USGC refiners have cut Venezuelan crude imports, as expected, they have not made corresponding increases in imports of heavy, sour crudes from other markets, according to the latest US Commerce Department import data. And, the data shows, overall US imports of all foreign crudes by vessel has fallen sharply in the nearly two-month period since the PDVSA sanctions were put into place. Since imposing sanctions on Venezuela, US imports of crude by vessel have averaged about 3.25 million b/d, compared to 4.26 million b/d over the same two month stretch in 2018 and 4.52 million b/d over that time period in 2017, according to Commerce data. Since PDVSA sanctions were imposed, US imports of Venezuelan crude have fallen to an average of about 185,200… continue reading

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Source: CTRM Center

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