for Crude Oil Imports
Small independent refineries in China thrived in 2015 and 2016 as a result of low crude prices and high exports of refined products, but the road ahead looks bumpier as analysts see consolidation in the country's downstream sector.
The U.S. government stopped short of a ban on oil imports from Venezuela, hoping to insulate U.S. refiners. But in the short run, Venezuela will have difficulty moving volumes to the Gulf Coast since the region has been swamped by Hurricane Harvey.
From changing the dollarized oil market to relationships with major Middle East producers, China's growing clout in the oil trade has manifold impacts for American interests.
Ed Hirs, an energy economist from the University of Houston, talks to The Fuse about the dangers of oil supply disruptions and OPEC's impact on shale.
Venezuela has fallen apart as a result of corruption and ineptitude, but even more so because of its over-reliance on oil as a revenue source. Some 95 percent of the country’s export revenue comes from oil.
One solution to reducing dependence on imports would be to build pipeline capacity connecting the Bakken area to refineries on the East Coast.
With domestic production rising and OPEC reducing sales to Asia, the U.S. has taken advantage of shifting market conditions by shipping more crude to customers overseas. The U.S. exported an eye-opening 900,000 b/d of crude during Q1, with volumes going to 24 different countries.
Despite the DOE and others making the case for a slimmer Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the U.S. is still vulnerable to wild price swings and global supply outages.
In order for prices to break out of the current range of $40-$50, there needs to be a sharp drawdown in crude stocks, but so far that hasn't happened.
Meg Jacobs, a Research Scholar in the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, spoke with The Fuse about her new book, "Panic at the Pump," which explores why the U.S. government has failed to put together long-term energy solutions.