As plunging regional output starves Asian oil buyers of high-quality crude, they are developing a taste for United States’ (U.S.) oil even over Nigerian and West African crude supplies, Bloomberg reports.
Asia, the biggest oil-consuming region in the world, has imported about one in three barrels that the U.S. has sold overseas since the start of 2017, even though export terminals along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico are over 15,000 miles away by sea from buyers such as China, Japan and South Korea, more than double the distance to Europe. American crude is not only offsetting lower Asian output, it’s displacing West African crude too.
Asian oil refiners had progressively widened their net over the last three decades. In the 1990s, they bought a large chunk of their intake within their own region; in the 2000s they expanded into the Middle East, and over the last decade the North Sea and Africa became another key source of supplies. Now, the Americas is the new frontier, with refiners buying crude not only from the U.S. but also increasingly from Canada, Mexico, Venezuela and Brazil.