Crude oil flows between the US and Canada continued at or near record levels this month, as US importers zeroed out all imports from Venezuela, Kuwait and Nigeria for the first time since the US Energy Information Administration began tracking import data.
Overall, the US imported about 7.3 million b/d of crude oil for the week ended July 5, down from an average of 7.8 million b/d in 2018, but above the weekly import average of 7.08 million b/d so far in 2019, according to the EIA.
Going by monthly data, the US has imported an average of 6.91 million b/d of crude this year, which, if holds, would mark the lowest annual import average since 1993.
The US’ annual import average peaked at 10.13 million b/d in 2005.
The US imported no crude from Venezuela, Kuwait, and Nigeria last week, due to sanctions, the rise of domestic production and an increase in Canadian imports.
US refiners have imported no Venezuelan crude for seven straight weeks and for 12 out of the last 17 weeks, according to the EIA. Imports of Venezuelan crude averaged 713,000 for the week ending September 28, 2018, the highest weekly average over the past year.
The US imposed sanctions on PDVSA, Venezuela’s state oil company, in January, effectively creating a de facto ban on US imports of Venezuelan crude.
The US has not imported a Kuwaiti barrel for four straight weeks and has not imported Nigerian crude eight separate weeks over the past year, data shows.
Source: S&P Global Platts