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Page added on June 8, 2017

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U.S. Begins Importing Iraqi Oil

Consumption

The United States has begun importing Iraqi oil at a rate of 1.1 million barrels per day to replace export cuts announced by Saudi Arabia late last month, new figures compiled by Bloomberg show.

New data from the Department of Energy suggests that during the first week of June, Iraqi oil entered the U.S. at the quickest rate in the past five years – marking the first time the nation’s exports exceeded those from Saudi Arabia over the same time period.

In late May, Riyadh announced its plans to purposely reduce exports to the United States to force a reduction in the latter’s sizeable inventories, which are preventing a greater rise in global oil prices, according to Saudi Oil Minister Khalid Al-Falih.

Earlier that same month, Saudi Aramco said it would cut crude supplies to China, South Korea, and South East Asia by 1 million barrels each. The nations exports to Indian buyers in June were set to decline by just over 3 million barrels, and supplies to Japan will drop by just under 1 million barrels this month, according to a Reuters’ source.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) deal to reduce production does not set limits on the amount any member country can export to its customers. This is why Saudi cargoes to the U.S. in recent months have totaled 1.21 million barrels a day – the highest rates since 2014, the year of the oil price crash.

As the de facto leader and largest producer of OPEC, Saudi Arabia has cut its production the most of any member of the bloc. But stubbornly high fossil fuel inventories – which have been maintained worldwide, but are most readily measured in the U.S. due to open customs data – have prevented the measures from buttressing oil prices in a lasting way. Importer nations have opted to take advantage of low oil prices to stock up for the future.

OilPrice.com



6 Comments on "U.S. Begins Importing Iraqi Oil"

  1. twocats on Thu, 8th Jun 2017 6:44 pm 

    People continue to think the invasion of Iraq was a mistake, a blunder, etc. Even at the time it was clear that even the “chaos” of the invasion was just good old Shock Doctrine and that taking control of such a central square on the global chess board was a smart move. Sure the US doesn’t control it completely, but better in the hands of a coalition of Iraqis than in the hands of a power hungry dictator with aspirations of regional influence. That move has been paying off handsomely for some years now in terms of a steadily increasing reliable world supply of oil.

  2. Go Speed Racer on Thu, 8th Jun 2017 7:04 pm 

    Yay. Finally we get to pump OUR oil out of their country.
    Weapons of mass destruction, knew it all along.

    Fill up my 1977 Ford LTD Royal Brougham with
    a 40 gallon tank load and keep that 460 cubic inch
    engine running smooth while I drive down the
    interstate Freon air conditioner blowing snow flakes
    into my face and John Denver Country Roads
    playing on the quadrophonic 8-track.
    Just use Iraqi oil and make America Great Again.

  3. rockman on Fri, 9th Jun 2017 8:47 am 

    FYI: The US has been importing oil from Iraq since March 1997. It peaked in Oct 2001 when we imported 36.5 million bbls that month.

    “Iraqi oil entered the U.S. at the quickest rate in the past five years”. In the last 5 years (2002-2006) the US imported about 650 MILLION BBLS OF IRAQ OIL.

    https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=pet&s=mttimiz1&f=a

    Not much of a story IMHO.

  4. joe on Fri, 9th Jun 2017 9:45 am 

    I think it’s making the point that Iraq, not Saudi is leading supplier now, that means allot, it means Shia Iraq could become more important than Sunni Saudi.

  5. rockman on Fri, 9th Jun 2017 12:24 pm 

    “…making the point that Iraq, not Saudi is leading supplier now…”.

    Not yet. According to the EIA as of March 2017:

    Canada – 4.065 mm bopd
    Saudi Arabia – 1.173 mm bopd
    Venezuela – 0.764 mm bopd
    Mexico – 0.640 mm bopd
    Iraq – 0.544 mm bopd
    Russia – 0.379 mm bopd

    So if the DoD is correct (not my standard go-to source) Iraq is now exporting 1.141 mm bopd to the US. Or about 600,000 bopd more then it has been for a while.

    OTOH I can’t find any report that the KSA was cutting exports specifically to the US:

    “The OPEC deal to reduce production does not set limits on the amount any member country can export to its customers. This is why Saudi cargoes to the U.S. in recent months have totaled 1.21 million barrels a day – the highest rates since 2014, the year of the oil price crash.”

    And let’s not forget: the KSA owns the largest oil refinery in the US…600,000 bopd capacity. And at a time when international demand of refinery products from the US is booming.

    So another attention grabbing headline without a great deal of meat on the bone IMHO.

  6. Dredd on Fri, 9th Jun 2017 2:01 pm 

    Like the captain said, “make it so number one” (Iraq: World’s Number One Oil Producer? – 8).

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