Oil: How the U.S. ‘enters’ the OPEC+ markets

Their exports have scored five new monthly records since Western nations began imposing sanctions on Russia in 2022, notes Bloomberg. And with the commercial restrictions on Venezuela being renewed from the current month, U.S. barrels begin to displace the slow sanctioned in India, one of the largest buyers of illegal oil. The shift highlights the extent to which sanctions have helped the American slow to gain market share around the world. While American oil has long been the barrel that the world preferred, stopping energy flows after Russia invaded Ukraine created new attraction for American barrels. Missions to Europe and Asia increased sharply thereafter, turning the US into one of the world’s largest exporters. U.S. record production – which comes at the time OPEC and its allies limit their own offer – has also helped American producers gain greater support in the overseas markets. Natural oil prices reflect this, with WTI in Houston negotiating near the highest levels since October and Mars reference point not far from it. “US production is growing and the production of OPEC and Russia is declining – so the US, by definition, will have a larger market share,” said Gary Gross, a veteran oil consultant who became a hedge fund manager at Black Gold Investors LLC. India – the third largest importer of crude and Moscow’s second largest buyer after China – is the last market to see an influx of American oil. American missions to India are due to take a jump in March at the highest level for nearly a year, according to data from the crude oil monitoring company, Kpler. At the same time, Russian oil imports have decreased by about 800,000 barrels a day from last year’s high point, according to the monitoring of Bloomberg tankers. Russian missions may be further reduced with Indian oil refineries no longer accepting cargoes from tankers belonging to the State-owned Sovcomflot PJSC, which were recently sanctioned by the US. While American supplies cannot completely replace the Russian slow due to differences in oil quality and travel times, “there is certainly a small turn in the direction of attracting more American crude,” Matt Smith (Matt Smith), America’s chief oil analyst on the Kpler platform, said. Indian refineries have also stopped markets from Venezuela pending the expiry of the US sanctions exemption in the middle of the following month. These supplies are now ready to reach the lowest level this year. Even before the last series of trade restrictions, the US quickly became the main supplier of Asia, where American imports scored an annual record last year. And in Europe, which has largely avoided Russian oil since the war in Ukraine began, American missions will reach the 2.2 million barrels record daily in March, according to the ship monitoring data collected by Bloomberg. Certainly, it is not because of the whole withdrawal from Europe of sanctions. Imports to the Netherlands have increased vertically since West Texas Intermediate was included last year in the dated Brent benchmark. However, missions increased significantly after sanctions were imposed, as European nations sought non-Russian sources of supply. US imports to France increased by almost 40% from 2021 to 2023, while those in Spain increased by 134%. “As American production continues to grind gradually higher, every extra barrel produced is likely to be exported,” said Smith of Kpler.