Canadian oil corporations exported a document quantity of crude out of the U.S. Gulf Coast on the finish of 2021, a development that ought to proceed in coming months, as tight worldwide oil markets are in want of the nation’s heavy, bitter crude.
These barrels are hitting the Gulf because of new pipeline connections and expansions that simply got here on-line final 12 months, and are assembly surging world demand that has pushed oil costs to seven-year highs. Major producers, together with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies together with Russia, are struggling to lift output, together with conventional suppliers of heavy crude like Venezuela and Mexico.
By distinction, Canada’s oil sands manufacturing is at a document 3.5 million barrels a day. Most of that’s exported to make use of within the United States, however a rising variety of barrels are transiting the nation to the U.S. Gulf Coast, the place it’s then re-exported.
In 2021, Canadian exports from the U.S. Gulf Coast averaged greater than 180,000 bpd, reaching practically 300,000 bpd in December, a document, in line with Matt Smith, Kpler’s lead oil analyst for the Americas. That’s up from roughly 70,000 bpd in 2019 and 2020. The accelerated tempo is anticipated to proceed in 2022.
Those barrels are primarily going to massive importers India, China and South Korea – partly to offset for the lack of Venezuelan barrels, which is beneath U.S. sanctions and coping with years of underinvestment.
Canadian producers have benefited from adjustments in pipeline infrastructure that make it simpler to ship to the Gulf Coast, the most important U.S. export hub, the place greater than Three million barrels ship out each day.
The Capline Pipeline, whose homeowners embody Plains All American Pipeline and Marathon Petroleum Corporation, reversed flows in 2021, sending extra oil from Patoka, Illinois, to terminals in St. James, Louisiana.
In October, Enbridge Inc doubled the capability of its Line Three pipeline, which carries oil from Edmonton, Alberta, to the U.S. Midwest.
The demand helps help costs in Alberta, the place benchmark Canadian heavy crude is at present buying and selling round C$13.50 a barrel, stated Tudor Pickering Holt analyst Matt Murphy.
“As we get more exposure to global markets that’s backing up into western Canada,” Murphy stated. “The industry as a whole benefits.”
Companies benefiting from elevated Gulf exports are people who have devoted capability on pipelines carrying Canadian crude, together with MEG Energy, Cenovus Energy and to a lesser extent Suncor Energy, Murphy stated. MEG expects to promote about two-thirds of its estimated 2022 manufacturing of 95,000 bpd, into the Gulf Coast.
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