Crude oil from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico is being snapped up by overseas buyers, paving the way for a record six supertankers to load at the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port in a matter of weeks, Reuters reports.
The six scheduled loadings would double the record of Very Large Crude Carriers reached in December. An unusual influx of Gulf of Mexico crudes to the U.S. deepwater export port and weakening prices are contributing to the exports, writes Reuters.
Mars Sour, a type of Gulf of Mexico crude produced by Royal Dutch Shell Plc, traded at a $4.40 a barrel premium to U.S. crude futures on June 3, falling from its 2019 peak of around $8.10 premium in mid-February.
Following U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and Iran, and production cuts by OPEC, U.S. medium-sour grades including Mars are helping fill Asian oil buyers’ needs for new sources of supply.
Three supertankers are expected to load at LOOP through the middle of June, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.
In recent weeks, more crude produced in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico has been piped to LOOP for loading onto vessels instead of to domestic refiners.