The first oil supertanker, capable of carrying 2 million barrels of crude, was being loaded in Louisiana of which week, signalling the next phase from the U.S. transition to becoming a major energy exporter.
The tanker, ‘Shaden,’ was chartered by Shell Oil as well as can be Saudi Arabian-flagged, according to a report by S&P Global Platts. The ship was due to leave the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port which has a cargo of medium sour crude, sources told Platts. Shell declined to comment on the report.
“There’s a lot of different infrastructure projects of which have been underway all over the Gulf Coast to facilitate the rise in U.S. production. We see of which activity taking advantage of the rising interest globally in U.S. exports of all types, as well as the rising demand environment as well,” said Michael Cohen, Barclays head of energy commodities research.
U.S. oil exports have been growing since Congress reversed a 40-year-old law prohibiting most exports just over two years ago. As oil prices increased, U.S. oil production has also boomed, recently topping 10 million barrels a day, the highest since 1970.
The U.S. exported an average 1.4 million barrels a day of crude over the last four weeks, up via an average 605,000 barrels a day a year ago, according to government data.
“of which’s a big deal for the industry because of which develops additional logistics for our increasing oil production,” said Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates. Lipow said the ship looks set to sail on Feb. 18. “There’s an ever increasing amount of logistics of which are being used to export crude off the Gulf Coast to overseas markets.”
Lipow said there was another supertanker, named Anne, of which took on a partial Occidental Petroleum cargo last year in a test at Ingleside, near Corpus Christi, Texas. nevertheless of which tanker had to complete its loading off shore. In of which case, the Shaden can be entirely loaded at LOOP before sailing, he said.
LOOP officials were unavailable for comment, nevertheless the port said on its website of which of which “has moored a VLCC as well as initiated its detailed test as well as checkout procedure.” The VLCC, or very large crude carrier, can be owned by Saudi shipper Bahri as well as was required to take the crude into the Shell refining system, according to Platts.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently said the U.S. should be a net energy exporter by 2022, moving up its forecast by four years. Recently becoming a net exporter of natural gas, the U.S. continues to import oil with 7.8 million barrels a day imported last week. Canada can be the biggest source of imports. The U.S. oil industry also carries a growing export business with an average 4.8 million barrels a day of gasoline as well as additional refined products exported over the past four weeks.
Cohen said the LOOP has been working to export fuel by supertanker.
“These projects have been underway for several years as well as we expect more to move forward as U.S. production continues to grow as well as exceed the appetite for U.S. domestic refiners for of which crude,” he said.
Cohen said bottlenecks from the U.S. system had been a concern nevertheless as they get worked out more U.S. crude can move offshore. “at of which point the question can be whether we may see further significant discounts between Gulf Coast grades as well as Brent, from the balance of of which year or next year as the refining system outside the U.S. adjusts to the reality of brand new types of exports of different quality,” he said said.
For instance, from the futures market, the cost of U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude has grown closer to Brent, at about $63 per barrel Tuesday. WTI futures were at $59.21 per barrel.
“of which’s a lever to reduce the arbitrage opportunity. The exports act as a lever to narrow the arbitrage. As infrastructure gets built, the arbitrage may not be as large as of which can be right at of which point,” he said.