The U.S. Briefly Overtook Saudi Arabia In Gross Oil Exports

The United States briefly overtook Saudi Arabia as the world’s number one gross oil exporter at one point in June this year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday.

While the U.S. gross oil exports exceeding those of Saudi Arabia was just a momentary occurrence in June, it is a sign that competition for a share of the global oil market is getting crowded, the Paris-based agency said in its closely watched Oil Market Report for September.

"A reminder to the producers that competition for market share is getting tougher comes from preliminary data showing that in June the US momentarily overtook Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s number one gross oil exporter," the IEA said.

Although U.S. shale growth has hit a wall in recent months, production from the United States continues to grow year on year, adding to the current surplus on the market.

According to IEA’s market report, so far in 2019, U.S. crude oil production growth has stalled—production in June was just 45,000 bpd higher than the output in December 2018.

“Even so, output is still growing strongly on an annual basis, rising this year by 1.25 mb/d, with 1 mb/d of growth to come in 2020,” the agency said.

Even at a lower production growth pace, U.S. oil exports are expected to increase in the near future, because of reduced takeaway constraints from the Permian to the U.S. Gulf Coast, EIA said in its Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) earlier this week. The Cactus II crude oil pipeline added an estimated 670,000 bpd capacity and the EPIC Midstream contributed another 400,000 bpd to takeaway capacity out of the Permian, EIA said.

Thanks to Cactus II and EPIC, outbound shipments of crude oil from Corpus Christi surged to a record in the first week of September, RBN Energy said on Monday, noting that the data may be “suggesting that the expected surge in exports of Permian oil is finally occurring.”

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com