American Oil and Gas Reporter - August 2017 - 43

destinations such as the Netherlands,
Italy, the United Kingdom and France
also ranked high on the list of U.S. crude
oil export destinations, as did Central
and South American destinations such
as Curacao, Colombia and Peru.
While favorable price differentials and
lower shipping costs have contributed to
the growing levels of U.S. crude oil exports, EIA says the primary factor is the
resumption of growth in domestic oil
production after output fell during the
first nine months of 2016.
"U.S. production increased at the end
of 2016 and continued to increase through
the first five months of 2017," reads a
June 27 EIA report. "U.S. crude oil production averaged an estimated 8.9 MMbbl/d in 2016 and is forecast to average
9.3 MMbbl/d in 2017. EIA forecasts production to average 9.9 MMbbl/d in 2018,
which would mark the highest annual
average production in U.S. history, surpassing the record of 9.6 MMbbl/d set in
1970."
The agency says global oil consumption
averaged 96.9 MMbbl/d in 2016, which
was an increase of 1.5 MMbbl/d from
2015. It says it expects demand to grow
1.5 MMbbl/d in 2017 and 1.6 MMbbl/d
in 2018, and predicts that West Texas
Intermediate crude oil will average $50
a barrel through 2018.
The United States' largest export product historically has been distillates. Between 2010 and 2016, EIA says, U.S.
distillate exports grew by 81 percent
(534,000 bbl/d), reaching 1.2 MMbbl/d
last year. The largest destination for U.S.
distillate exports last year was Mexico,
averaging 182,000 bbl/d, followed by
Brazil (125,000 bbl/d) and the Netherlands
(108,000 bbl/d).
U.S. exports of gasoline expanded
from 335,000 bbl/d in 2010 to 761,000
bbl/d in 2016, according to EIA statistics.
"The growth in gasoline exports took
place while domestic consumption, as
measured by product supplied, also was
increasing," EIA says. "Mexico is the
top destination for U.S. gasoline exports,
accounting for between 44 and 53 percent
of total U.S. gasoline exports over the
past five years."
Record Refinery Runs
After U.S. refinery runs hit a record
high annual level of 16.5 MMbbl/d in
2016, EIA says gross inputs moved even
higher in early summer, averaging 17.7
MMbbl/d for the week ending May 26,
17.5 MMbbl/d for the week ending June
2, and 17.6 MMbbl/d for the week ending
June 9.
"Weekly U.S. refinery runs have exceeded 17.0 MMbbl/d only 24 times since

1990, and all of those instances have occurred since July 2015," EIA remarks.
Despite record-high inputs, refinery
utilization did not reach a new record
because refinery capacity has increased,
the agency points out. Refinery utilization
reached 95 percent for the week ending
May 26, slightly lower than the levels
reached in mid-July through mid-August
2015, EIA reports.
As of Jan. 1, U.S. operable atmospheric
crude distillation capacity was 18.6 million
barrels per calendar day (bbl/cd), 1.6 percent higher than at the beginning of 2016,
according to EIA. Since August 2015,

total U.S. refinery capacity has increased
by 659,000 bbl/cd, accounting for both
planned and unplanned maintenance.
Total product inventories for the first
week of June were nearly 83 million barrels higher than the five-year average,
but 3 million barrels lower than at the
same time last year. EIA says total product
supplied was greater than the five-year
average by nearly 600,000 bbl/d during
the first week of June, but 400,000 bbl/d
lower than at the same time last year. Petroleum product exports for the first week
of June 2017 also were up by 831,000
bbl/d compared with June 2016.
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AUGUST 2017 43


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