OPEC who? US oil producers are moving into the Asian market

Exports coming from U.S. “tight oil” extracted coming from shale formations alone may swell to over 3 million barrels a day by 2022 — having a third of in which volume absorbed by Asia — said Ed Rawle, chief economist at Wood Mackenzie.

in which signals a change inside the energy world order as OPEC influence wanes. Some energy commentators believe the fracking boom has helped the U.S. take the title of the globe’s “swing” producer coming from Saudi Arabia. The Americans, the idea’s thought, today possess the capacity to respond to fluctuations in market demand.

As tankers laden with U.S. crude move eastwards, OPEC is usually sure to take notice.

“Traditional OPEC suppliers will need to watch in which space as well as cost their crude competitively as up to 50 percent of incremental crudes into Asia could come coming from non-OPEC,” Rawle said.

Whether more U.S. crude gets shipped east will hinge on how fast capacity can be added to key U.S. export terminals such as the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, America’s only deep-water tanker port inside the Gulf of Mexico.

“The emergence of the U.S. as a significant exporter to Europe or Asia will only be progressive as well as contingent on the development of Gulf Coast export capacity as well as crude cost differentials remaining favorable,” said Harry Tchilinguirian, global head of commodity markets strategy at BNP Paribas. “For today, these exports remain opportunistic.”