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US Crude Oil Imports Hit A Record Low In 23 Years, A Record High

Jul 11 , 2019

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According to data released last night by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), in the week of February 22, US crude oil imports fell by 1.61 million barrels per day, the lowest level since 1996. Among them, the import of crude oil from Saudi Arabia was 346,000 barrels per day, a record low in a single week.

US Crude Oil Imports Hit A Record Low In 23 Years, A Record High

The data also showed that refinery capacity utilization on the east coast of the United States fell to 60%, the lowest since 2012.

At the same time, US crude oil production increased by 100,000 barrels per day to 12.1 million barrels per day, a record high in a single week. In addition, crude oil inventories in the Cushing region hit a one-week high since December 2017.

It is worth noting that while the United States is frantically increasing its crude oil production, they have put pressure on OPEC to cut production prices for a long time, and on the other side sanctioned Venezuela and Iran, causing their exports to drop sharply.

For the US production increase behavior, British BP CEO Bob Dudley recently commented at the International Oil and Gas Week in London that the United States is probably the only country in the world that only responds to the market signal output adjustment. It is like a no. The market for the brain. Unlike Saudi Arabia and Russia – these two countries will also regulate supply based on market excesses or shortages – the United States will only respond to price signals.

However, the Trump administration in the United States seems to be dissatisfied with the rise in oil prices. Earlier this week, Trump once again complained on Twitter that the price of oil was too high and asked OPEC to relax its efforts to raise oil prices. "The price of oil is too high. OPEC, relax, take a little bit. The world can't stand the rise in oil prices - it's still fragile!"

But this time OPEC does not seem to be affected by Trump. Saudi Energy Minister Falih said recently that they may extend production in the second half of the year. In addition, when asked about Trump's tweet, Falih responded: "We are calmly responding."

Some oil and gas industry companies believe that oil prices may rise further.

Russell Hardy, chief executive of Vitol, the world's largest energy trader, said oil prices will rise further as OPEC's production cuts and US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela cause a "short" in heavy crude oil on which refineries rely. “In the next six months, a large supply may be squeezed. OPEC’s decision means that there is less oil to choose from, and the situation in Iran means less oil to choose from, and the current situation in Venezuela is even worse. ”

“From now on, oil prices may have the potential to rise further. Before the third quarter, supply will be quite tight,” Russell Hardy said.

At the beginning of this year, oil prices hit the best opening year in history. According to Dow Jones market data, WTI crude oil futures rebounded about 25% in the first two months of this year, setting the best January and February performance since 1984; also the best consecutive two-month performance since 2016.

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