Gulf Supplies Push US Crude Imports to Most Jump Since 2008

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US crude-oil imports soared last week to a high last seen in 2008, recovering from a 17-year low, buoyed by increased supplies to the Gulf Coast.

Shipments jumped 21% to 7.8 million barrels per day in the week that ended the 23rd of May, data from the Energy Information Administration showed. The increase is the largest by percentage since September 2008. Imports soared 1.34 million barrels per day, the highest volume since December 2011.

Soaring domestic output of crude oil in the US reduced dependence on overseas’ supplies, pushing imports down in the previous week to the lowest point since 1997. US crude production stood at a peak last seen 28 years ago, as advanced exploitation techniques such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing helped reach supplies previously constrained under shale structures in North America.

“The state of imports is probably answered by scheduling issues with very large refineries,” Tom Finlon of Energy Analytics Group LLC in Jupiter, Florida, told Bloomberg.

Commonly referred to as PADD3 shipments to the US Gulf Coast jumped by 1.08 million barrels per day last week, or 38%, according to the EIA, the statistics arm of the Energy Department.

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Imports to the Gulf Coast region, which carries more than 50% of US refining capabilities, had been on a declining course as more crude supplies to the region came from Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery nucleus for New York futures.

Also, the EIA figures showed that US crude output increased 38,000 barrels per day the same week to 8.47 million, a high not registered since October 1986.

“With production at almost 8.5 million barrels and expected to remain elevated, imports will keep declining,” Kyle Cooper of Houston-based IAF Advisors said.

But according to the Motley Fool, US gasoline supplies plunged 1.8 million barrels or 0.8% last week, despite the surge in oil supplies.

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To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com