Some 28% of U.S. Gulf of Mexico crude production


According to sources and Refinitiv Eikon data, US Gulf Coast crude oil exports are picking up after recent hurricanes swept away 26 million barrels of offshore production, with local prices dropping as more shipments left. the region.

Hurricanes Ida and Nicholas damaged platforms, pipelines and processing centers, cutting off most offshore production for weeks. Restarts continued on Thursday with about 28% of U.S. Gulf of Mexico crude production offline. Some ships remained at sea while waiting to load US crude.

But of more than 50 tankers ready to load U.S. crude for export or offload imported oil in Texas and Louisiana through early October, the majority remained on track Thursday, according to ship tracking data. by Refinitiv Eikon. Only 22% had delays.

Some exporters of Mars crude, which is produced in the Gulf, have offered their customers alternatives, including switching to other grades of crude, rescheduling loads or changing ports, traders involved in the negotiations said. sales.


This strategy resulted in lower prices on Mars the last days. After hitting a premium of $ 1.50 per barrel above the U.S. WTI, the highest since January, March delivery for October fell to a 50 cents per barrel rebate from the U.S. benchmark. Wednesday, the lowest in two weeks.

However, some analysts have said that Mars will be the last category to return to the export market due to damage to a major offshore transfer center. Royal Dutch Shell, which declared force majeure on the contracts, continues to assess damage to the West Delta-143 platform, which controls the flow of oil from three large fields.

Some tankers that were scheduled to load at ports in Louisiana in the past three weeks have been diverted to the Galveston Offshore Lightening Zone (GOLA) and Corpus Christi, Texas, for loading. These ports are fully functioning after brief suspensions due to Hurricane Nicholas this week.

Corpus Christi exported 1.69 million bpd of crude in August, up about 100,000 bpd from July, the port said. Export data for September was not available.


In contrast, the largest private export terminal in the United States, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), has yet to receive its first ship from Ida, according to data from Refinitiv. Its storage caverns were only 26% used in August, the company said.

LOOP oil exports “show little sign of recovery from Hurricane Ida,” said Reid I’Anson, senior commodities analyst at data provider Kpler. Departures from the port in August included a single vessel taking 2 million barrels of crude from Mars, “the lowest absolute total leaving LOOP in any given month since February,” he said.

Weekly US crude exports in September fell to between 2.34 million bpd (bpd) and 2.62 million bpd, according to preliminary data from the US Energy Information Administration, from 3 million bpd at the end of August.


With around 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) of offline refining capacity from Ida, most Gulf Coast refineries have been able to meet demand with crude loans from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve and incoming supplies.

The Aframax Crude Centurion tanker, carrying 500,000 barrels of Mexican Mayan crude, was docked Thursday and unloaded at a Phillips 66 refinery in Belle Chasse, Louisiana, according to data from Refinitiv.

US regulators are still reviewing offshore platforms and approving the resumption of production. Of the 288 platforms evacuated over the Ida, 42 remained unoccupied Thursday, the Office of Environmental Safety and Enforcement (BSEE) said.

“Damaged facilities may take longer to return to service,” BSEE said in a written statement to Reuters.

(Reporting by Marianna Parraga in Houston and Devika Krishna Kumar in New York, additional reporting by Liz Hampton in Denver; Editing by David Gregorio)

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