For signs of how the U.S. shale boom is transforming the global flow of oil, look halfway across the world at South Korea.
The Asian nation, which relies on the Middle East for about 86 percent of its oil imports, is benefiting as new output from Texas to North Dakota displaces the crudes that fed U.S. refineries for decades.
South Korea received this month a shipment of Alaskan oil for the first time in at least eight years and may buy more, the importing company said. The country was one of the first to receive a cargo of the ultralight U.S. oil known as condensate after export rules were eased.
The U.S. shale revolution has driven oil output to the highest in more than three decades, reducing America’s need for overseas purchases and sinking global prices into a bear market. South Korea is seeking to reduce its dependence on Middle East crude just as OPEC’s biggest members discount supplies to protect market share and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicts the group is losing influence.The US is trying to take market share away from OPEC. Memo to OPEC: how do you like us now?
Whoever thought the US would be an exporter of crude?