Almost unheralded, the US has emerged as the largest exporter of oil products, based on Gulf Coast refiners' use of relatively inexpensive, domestically produced tight oil. The product-export flood has been paralleled by large-volume NGL sales, with LPG (liquid petroleum gas) leading the way, in particular propane.That opening line: Almost unheralded, the US has emerged as the largest exporter of oil products,.... occurred during the Obama administration.
US sales have not only saturated the Atlantic Basin market but also become important to Asia Pacific supply. At mid-2015 China was the biggest single customer for US propane. And the opening of a revamped and enlarged Panama Canal by yearend will likely increase westbound LPG exports from the Gulf Coast even further. By 2018 US exports of LPG exports will likely equal or exceed those of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar combined.
Canada remains the top condensate US export market. APEC expects US supply to dominate Canadian diluent use until at least end-decade. Yet domestic condensate output has been growing rapidly in Canada, based on tight oil and shale gas development, in a trend APEC expects will gradually back out US sales in the coming decade. A steadier though smaller market emerged for slightly refined condensate in Europe, where refiners use the material regularly to fill out crude slates. By 2018 US condensate exports will exceed overseas sales by Saudi Arabia, and possibly by the kingdom and Qatar combined.
Ethane exports have begun as US sellers pioneered waterborne ethane shipments to buyers in the UK, Norway (Ineos and Sabic), and Sweden (Borealis). This has been followed by sales to India (Reliance) and China (Orient Energy).
The emergence of the light-ends space has not been solely a western market phenomenon. It has had East of Suez impacts as well, much of it centered on the Persian Gulf.
Things to think about:
- Saudi's challenges
- US shale oil revolution
- 90% of tankers carrying petroleum products will be able to transit the Panama Canal starting next year
- Asian countries want to diversify their source of petroleum products; do not want to depend on Mideast as sole supplier
- Poland diversifying petroleum sources; doesn't want to rely solely on Russia
- India's growing demand for transportation fuel
- the global demand for naphtha
- "friendly" regulatory environment along the US gulf coast
- QUALITY -- the US sets the standards
- outside the US, instability seems to be the by-word; I can't say the global environment is any worse, but if Nigeria and Iraq are any examples, I would say the global environment is as bad as it's ever been
- US oil exports rise 7-fold in three months
- it never seems to quit