Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) US oil shipments to Europe have increased in March and April to replace Russian imports, according to analysts, traders and shipping data.
As the EU contemplates an embargo on Russian oil over the war in Ukraine, US exporters are delivering more to Europe, Reuters reports Friday.
Washington has decided to release 180 million barrels from its reserve, which is helping exporters to ramp up their shipments across the Atlantic.
US Kpler data and analytics company’s oil analyst Matt Smith noted that US exports of crude oil to Europe have approached 1.5 million barrels per day in April, the highest level in the last two years or so.
He pointed out that this is one of the highest levels on record and added that most deliveries are headed to Denmark, Italy, Spain and the UK.
As price of crude oil has exceeded US$ 100 per barrel, US production in the Permian Basin is picking up pace and is projected to reach roughly 5.1 million barrels per day in May according to Energy Information Administration’s estimates.
US supplies replacing Russian oil
Vortexa oil analytics company’s chief economist David Wench noted “with a number of refiners currently shunning Russian crude, the demand for replacement barrels is adding to the call on US crude.”
Eurostat records show that Russian supplies accounted for more than a quarter of Europe’s oil imports in 2020.
A trading source stressed that “Europeans are looking for alternative supplies and the US is a useful market for bringing those light sweet grades to Western and Eastern European countries.”
The UK is planning to replace Russian oil imports with alternatives by 2023, with British refineries in March buying the largest volumes of US oil in the last two and a half years, Eikon data shows.
According to US Customs data, most deliveries were US light sweet oil and approximately a quarter of cargoes were Midland crude.
Spain is to import about 7 million barrels of US crude this month, a record-high level, according to shipping data. The country imported close to 6 million barrels in March for refineries run by BP, Cepsa and Repsol energy companies.