Economic news

U.S. infrastructure is close to its limits as oil exports soar

Streams of oil tankers full to the brim with crude are moving out from the ports of Texas and Louisiana, while the motion is increasing and soon the nascent export market of the United States might come to the maximum of infrastructure capacity.

Exports of crude from the U.S. soared since the end of the long-lasting ban around two years back, while outgoing volumes reached the levels of 2 mln barrels daily. However, traders are not sure the upward trajectory is viable, and when the maximums are attained, U.S. oil prices may go down.

The export capacity of the U.S. is unknown, as many of the operators and exporters don’t report it, and no state body follows it. Apart from storage and loading, other type of infrastructure may face overloads, including pipelines and traffic.

Experts hold the opinion that operators are going to have difficulties in case shipments move up to 3.5-4 mln barrels per day. A less of a figure is given by RBC Capital – near 3.2 mln barrels a day.

Current output of crude in the U.S. is making up 9.5 mln barrels daily and it is forecasted to rise by 800,000 to 1 mln barrels a day during the year, which could soon put the infrastructure to test. In the past month, the mean exported volume was 1.7 mln barrels a day, which is three times more than a year back.


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