U.S. Gulf Coast Makes up 75% of Petroleum Product Exports
Roughly 75% of exported petroleum products come from the U.S. Gulf Coast, according to information from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). More than half of the country’s refining capacity is located in Petroleum Administration Defense District (PADD) 3, where petroleum product exports have been steadily climbing to reach 2,902 MBOPD in first four months of the year, up 444 MBOPD from the same time last year. Gasoline, distillate, and jet fuel exports combined accounted for 40% of the increase.
Higher levels of gasoline and distillate exports were sent to countries in the Western Hemisphere, while gasoline exports to Africa decreased slightly. Jet fuel exports have primarily increased to Western Europe, Central America (plus Mexico) and South America, and to a lesser extend Africa. Propane and naphtha exports are each 150 MBOPD higher than last year, and primarily being sent to Asian markets, says the EIA.
Overall U.S. petroleum exports continued to increase in the first four months of the year, averaging 4,100 MBOPD, up 500 MBOPD from the same time last year. Record-high refinery runs and increased global demand for petroleum products from the United States pushed exports higher, according to the EIA.
Imports to the East Coast remained high relative to exports, with PADD 1 importing 1,002 MBOPD in the first four months of the year, compared to just 173 MBOPD of exports. Imports of petroleum products to PADD 1 are usually higher than exports as the region uses imported products to supplement in-region refinery production to meet demand.
West Coast exports reached 421 MBOPD, compared to 176 MBOPD of imports in the first four months of the year, reflecting a greater supply of distillate fuel than the local market demands. PADD 5’s distillate exports averaged 117 MBOPD in the first four months of the year, in line with the previous two years and 37 MBOPD higher than in 2012, according to the EIA’s information.
The EIA notes that, as long as petroleum production growth continues to outpace local demand, the decade long trend of increasing exports is likely to continue.