In a pivotal geopolitical shift, the United States will soon export more oil and liquids than Saudi Arabia. This remarkable turnaround is made possible by the continued rise in oil production from US shale plays and the increased oil export capacity from the Gulf Coast.
The U.S. has for decades relied on large-scale imports to satisfy its thirst for oil, but this is about to change. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported last week that the United States exported more crude and petroleum products than it imported. Granted, the EIA followed up with a report this week that U.S. crude oil stocks had risen by 7.1 million barrels in a week, driven by a renewed appetite among U.S. refineries for imported heavy crude oil. However, for the rest of the year, U.S. exports will grow fast with increasingly attractive price spreads, while U.S. demand for imported heavy oil should again diminish.
“The oil market is overly preoccupied with short-term US crude stocks, but the big picture tells a new story. Increasingly profitable shale production and a robust global appetite for light oil and gasoline is poised to bring the US to a position of oil dominance in the next few years,” said Rystad Energy senior partner Per Magnus Nysveen.