23 Aug 2019: U.S. Crude oil exports are boosting the tanker market
Two new export-oriented pipelines that move crude oil from the Permian Basin to Corpus Christi are coming on stream this quarter. Combined, the Epic and Cactus II pipelines will be able to move more than 1 Million barrels per day (Mb/d) to the U.S. Gulf coast with further expansions planned in the coming years. Crude oil exports from the U.S. Gulf already provide significant employment for the tanker market, and this will increase further once additional pipeline capacity is available. The dramatic growth in U.S. oil production has had a significant impact on the global oil trade in recent years. U.S. crude oil imports have declined as a result of higher domestic production. However, domestic production has not completely replaced imports. Since the crude oil export ban was rescinded in late 2015, exports have also increased dramatically. Less imports, but more exports. To analyze the impact on the tanker market, we will compare the seaborne crude oil trade flows of the first 6 months of 2015 (prior to the lifting of the export ban) with the first half of 2019 for VLCCs, Suezmax tankers and Aframaxes.
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