U.S. OIL IMPORTS UP BY 528 TBD
According to EIA, U.S. gross crude oil imports increased by 528,000 barrels per day (b/d), or 7%, during the first half of 2016 compared to the first half of 2015. This increase reverses a multiyear trend of decreasing U.S. crude oil imports as a result of increasing U.S. production.
Imports from Nigeria, Iraq, and other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) rose by 504,000 b/d. Declining imports from Mexico, which fell 118,000 b/d, more than offset the increase in imports from Canada, limiting the net change in imports from non-OPEC countries to an increase of less than 24,000 b/d.
Changes in crude oil price spreads were a significant factor in the rise of U.S. oil imports during the first half of 2016. The narrowing price differences between U.S. crudes and international benchmarks provided an incentive for increased imports by refiners in areas where imported crudes now had a delivered cost advantage relative to similar domestic crudes. Additionally, lower overall crude prices contributed to a decline in U.S. crude production from an average of 9.5 million b/d in the first half of 2015 to 9.0 million b/d in the first half of 2016, resulting in higher net crude oil imports.
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