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US crude oil exports continue to rise

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

According to the US Energy Information Administration, the US has exported 246 000 bpd of crude oil in March 2014. This is the highest level in 15 years.

Exports have increased sharply since the beginning of 2013. Increases in crude exports are due largely to riding crude production, which was equal to 8 million bpd in February.

In order to export crude oil from the US, a company needs to obtain a license from the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the US Department of Commerce. The following kinds of transactions will generally be approved:

  • Exports from Alaska’s Cook Inlet.
  • Exports to Canada for consumption or use therein.
  • Exports in connection with the refining or exchange of strategic petroleum reserve oil.
  • Exports that are consistent with international energy supply agreements.
  • Exports of foreign-origin crude.
  • Exports of California Heavy crude up to an average of 25 000 bpd.
  • Temporary exports or exchanges.

For other transactions, the regulations describe the characteristics that will generally be approved as in the national interest.

Almost oil crude oil exported from the US has been to Canada, and most of the recent increase in exports has come from the US Gulf Coast (PADD 3). Gulf Coast exports averaged 134 000 bpd in the first quarter of 2014. This is a 283% increase on 2013’s record high of 35 000 bpd.

Exports from the East Coast (PADD 1) averaged 30 000 bpd in the first quarter of 2014, down slightly on 2013 levels. Exports from PADD 1 were evenly distributed between the Port of New York and Portland, Maine, which is the starting point of a pipeline that delivers crude to refineries in Montreal. Exports of crude from the Midwest (PADD 2) have long been a source of crude for refineries in Sarnia, Ontario.

Adapted from a press release by Emma McAleavey.

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