Sunday, July 23, 2017

Saudi Arabia's Iraqi Problem -- July 23, 207

This was the headline over at Bloomberg: Saudi Arabia turns off the US oil tap. The self-identified "gadfly" suggests that Saudi Arabia is finally doing what it will take to raise the price oil. Read the article.

Then look at the Saudi imports at this link. This is "old" data compared to the linked Bloomberg data but it gives you an idea of how much Saudi oil the US imports: about 1 million bopd. On a monthly basis, the US imports about 35 million bbls from Saudi Arabia, and it has remained fairly stable (except for one outlier in January, 2017).

Now look at Iraq. At the same database, the US imports from Iraq have jumped from 13 million bbls in November, 2016, to what-must-be-a-recent record 24 million bbls in the most recent month for which data is available.

The "gadfly" ends with this:
The Saudis have belatedly woken up to how oil traders react to a U.S. that's visibly awash with crude. It will amount to very little unless they deal with their Africa problem (Libya, Nigeria).
Libyan output is negligible compared to total OPEC output; Nigeria is significantly more but, in the big scheme of things, not much has changed in Nigeria.

To me, right now, Saudi has an Iraqi problem.

Heavy Oil

Also at Bloomberg, an update on Venezuelan oil exports. From my perspective, Venezuelan heavy oil = Canadian heavy oil. Any loss in Venezuelan exports will be a win for Canada. Too bad the Keystone XL was never built.

Which begs the question: if Venezuela goes belly-up, would Trump have the opportunity to get that pipeline built? I'm sure the Canadians are watching closely.

I track Venezuela here

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