The increase of exports of gasoline may be aiding in reducing the nation’s oil glut on the margin. Last week the U.S. exported almost 6 million barrels of gasoline. The 811,000 barrels a day are almost twice the amount exported from the previous year, and a 30 percent increase from last week’s barrel count, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Crude futures rose shortly after the weekly government oil and gasoline inventory report showed a drop in U.S. oil supplies of 553,000 barrels to 468.2 million barrels. Analysts expected a supply of more than 2 million barrels. Gasoline supplies fell by almost 2 million barrels and distillates, mostly diesel fuel, dropped by 3.4 million barrels.
“It’s Mexico, Mexico, Mexico and Latin America. I guarantee that’s what it is,” said Tom Kloza, of Oil Price Information Service. Analysts state that Mexico has boosted its imports of U.S. refined gasoline, due to its refineries being less efficient and are running at 50 percent capacity.
“Gasoline exports are a quietly stunning story of autumn, 2015,” said Kloza. “It’s been a theme this autumn and I think it’s going to be a theme that continue into 2017.”
The Government’s weekly date showed that refineries increased capacity utilization by 0.6 point to 85.6 percent. “It’s good news for the refiners because both gasoline and distillate inventories dropped far more than the market anticipated. That is going to help refining margins in a difficult period,” said Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates.
“There was a significant amount of gasoline exports in the country. We’re exporting probably a record amount of gasoline for this time of year and that is helping keep inventories under control and probably the biggest reason we’re seeing these robust exports is due to refining problems in Mexico.”
Kloza stated that the exports to Latin America are due to problems at Petroleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA. The loss of refining capacity and close of St. Croix refinery several years ago will mean that gasoline will come from Texas and Louisiana refineries. Kloza stated that Mexican could be importing over 500,000 barrels a day from U.S. companies.
The U.S. produced 8.5 million barrels a day of crude oil, below the 9.1 million barrels that were produced exactly one year ago. Oil imported into the U.S. totals at 7 million barrels which is below the four week average of 7.3 million barrels a day.