Trump says U.S. does not need Middle East oil, but cargoes keep coming

By Timothy Gardner WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Amid a flurry of Twitter posts on Monday morning, U.S. President Donald Trump turned to the weekend attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities and assured his audience the United States had become such a big producer it no longer needed oil from the Middle East https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1173560246863876096.

Reuters September 17, 2019 04:06:57 IST
Trump says U.S. does not need Middle East oil, but cargoes keep coming

Trump says US does not need Middle East oil but cargoes keep coming

By Timothy Gardner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Amid a flurry of Twitter posts on Monday morning, U.S. President Donald Trump turned to the weekend attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities and assured his audience the United States had become such a big producer it no longer needed oil from the Middle East https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1173560246863876096.

U.S. government data tells a different story: The technology-driven U.S. drilling boom that started more than a decade ago has made the United States a massive producer, but imports of crude oil and petroleum products from the Gulf region last year still flowed in abundantly https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=MTTIMUSPG1&f=M.

"By and large, we are still importing quite a bit and not totally immune to the world market,” Jean-François Seznec, a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center, said during a call with reporters on Monday.

Iran has rejected U.S. charges it was to blame for the attacks, which damaged the world's biggest crude-processing plant in Saudi Arabia and triggered the largest jump in crude prices in decades.

Saudi Arabia is the world's biggest oil exporter, shipping about 7 million barrels of crude daily around the globe. The United States, produces roughly 12 million barrels per day, but consumes 20 million bpd, meaning it must import the rest.

Much of the U.S. shortfall comes from Canada, but some still comes from Saudi Arabia, Iraq and other Gulf nations because several U.S. refineries prefer their oil. As an example, the biggest U.S. refinery – Motiva Enterprises LLC in Port Arthur, Texas – is half-owned by Saudi Arabia’s state energy company, Saudi Aramco, and is set up for Saudi grades.

Other refineries – particularly in California https://www.reuters.com/article/saudi-aramco-attacks-gasoline/rpt-saudi-attacks-threaten-us-gasoline-price-hikes-particularly-in-california-idUSL2N26700Y - are isolated from big U.S. oil fields and must also rely on cargoes.

The mismatch between what U.S. refiners want and what the United States produces means that in 2018, the United States imported an average of 48 million barrels per month of crude oil and petroleum products from the Gulf region, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

That is down about a third from a decade ago, as domestic oil and gas production soared, but roughly the same level as in 1995 and 1996, according to the data.

Phillip Cornell, another senior fellow with the Atlantic Council, who used to advise Saudi Aramco, called Trump's tweet "nonsense."

“He’s a guy who likes hyperbole,” he said.

Sarah Emerson, president of ESAI Energy LLC, said the Saudi production outage, if it is prolonged, could provide an opportunity for U.S. crude oil producers to expand their overseas markets.

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Additional reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Writing by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Peter Cooney)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.