United States (US) crude oil and petroleum product gross exports have more than doubled over the past six years, says the Energy Information Administration (EIA), official energy statistics from the US government.

According to the EIA, US crude and petroleum product exports increased from 2.4 MMbpd in 2010 to 5.2 MMbpd in 2016. Exports of distillate, gasoline, propane, and crude oil have all increased, but at different paces and for different reasons.

Restrictions on exporting domestically produced crude oil were lifted in December 2015, and in 2016, the United States exported an average of 520,000 bpd. U.S. crude oil exports reached 1.1 MMbpd in February 2017, the highest monthly level on record.

While Canada remains the largest destination for US crude oil exports, Canada’s share of total US crude oil exports has declined, dropping from 92 percent in 2015 (427,000 bpd) to 58 percent in 2016 (301,000 bpd). Other leading destinations for US crude oil exports in 2016 included the Netherlands, Curacao, China, Italy, and the UK.

Beyond the lifting of crude oil export restrictions, other factors such as favorable price differentials, lower shipping costs, and rising domestic production have increased US crude oil exports.

US production fell through the first nine months of 2016, but increased at the end of 2016 and has continued to increase through the first five months of 2017.

US crude oil exports in 2016 were 55,000 bpd greater than exports in 2015—a slower rate of growth compared with year-over-year changes in 2015 and 2014.

US exports of distillate also experienced slower year-over-year growth compared with recent years. In 2016, the United States exported 1.2 MMbpd of distillate, the country’s largest petroleum product export.

Between 2010 and 2016, US exports of distillate grew by 81 percent (534,000 bpd), but most of this growth occurred between 2011 and 2013. The largest destination for US distillate exports in 2016 was Mexico, averaging 182,000 bpd, followed by Brazil (125,000 bpd) and the Netherlands (108,000 bpd).

US exports of total motor gasoline have more than doubled since 2010, growing from 335,000 bpd in 2010 to 761,000 bpd in 2016.

The growth in gasoline exports took place while domestic consumption, as measured by product supplied, was also increasing. Mexico is the top destination for US motor gasoline exports, and the volume of gasoline trade is significant to US refineries.

Over the past five years, US exports to Mexico accounted for between 44 percent and 53 percent of total US gasoline exports. Unlike the recently slowing increases in US exports of crude oil, distillate fuel, and motor gasoline, propane export growth has accelerated. Propane exports are shipped to different destinations than other US petroleum exports.

Most other US petroleum exports stay in the Western Hemisphere, but some of the top destinations for US propane exports are Asian countries such as Japan and China. Propane has many non-transportation sector end uses, including as a fuel for heaters and cookstoves and as a feedstock for petrochemical industry.

Some experts in Ghana, including Managing Editor of News Ghana, Roger A. Agana believe the doubling of US crude and petroleum products will have both positive and negative repercussions for oil and non-oil exporting countries across the African continent.

He has urged African governments, especially oil exporting countries including Ghana to put in place the necessary policy interventions to ensure their economies do not experience major shocks with growing fluctuations in crude oil price. Enditem

Source: Roger A. Agana, NewsGhana.com.gh with files from Worldoil.com

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