New Tool is part of EIA’s “ongoing effort to assess the effects of a possible relaxation of current limitations on U.S. crude oil exports”
The Energy Information Administration has unveiled the unofficial version of its U.S. Crude Oil Import Tracking Tool, an interactive map detailing the numerous pieces of the United States crude import system.
Numbers involved in the tool may not be accurate at this point in time, as the Administration provided sample applications to allow users to test drive the site. Features of the Tracking Tool include:
- Volume and quality
- Imports by Region
- Refinery trends in both light crude and non-light crude
In a brief report accompanying the Tool, U.S. crude imports in 2013 were 20%, or approximately 675 MMBO, lower than rates in 2010. The decline includes a 71% drop in light crude imports, which reached just 652 MBOPD in August 2014. Light crude from Africa, particularly OPEC members like Nigeria and Algeria, has declined a total of 93%.
Most qualities of crude dropped modestly on an import scale, with the exception of light crude imports. Light crude has been one of the main qualities of U.S. crude oil, ultimately reducing the need for international orders. Imports of the light crude grade have dropped by 93% since 2010.
EIA issued a statement in its release that said: “The development of publication of this tool, which sheds light on import adjustments being made in response to growing production of crude oil within the United States, is one part of EIA’s ongoing effort to assess the effects of a possible relaxation of current limitations on U.S. crude oil exports, which is another avenue to accommodate domestic production growth. EIA is undertaking further work that bears on this larger question, and expects to issue further analysis reports over the coming months.”
The Gulf Coast PADD #3, the primary destination for most crude imports, is reflective is the light crude drop. The region’s light deliveries dropped to nearly zero in July 2014, and its volume in August was 94% below 2010 rates. Light crude imports on the East Coast (PADD #1) declined by 69%. The EIA said there is “evidence” that refineries have also cut back on medium and heavy grades of crude in order to manage the more valuable lighter form. Others, however, have elected to take advantage of the heavier market by installing equipment beneficial for oil with medium and heavy characteristics, which points to refiners preparing for Canadian heavy crude to be delivered by the Keystone XL pipeline system, if and when approved by the White House.
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