The massive energy disruption that the Texas blizzard provoked had sparked energy trade from abroad, especially Europe, data from Vortexa reveals.
As we have reported previously, the cold weather in Texas has provoked deep energy disruptions in Texas. Firstly, nearly a fifth of all the nations refining capacity had to shut down, in addition to almost all of the crude oil production in West Texas halted production.
Major refining companies, like Valero, ExxonMobil among others closed down refineries to let pass the freezing weather. In order to fill that gap, refiners are booking supplies from abroad.
According to data from Vortexa, reviewed by Reuters, the U.S. Atlantic coast imports of diesel and gasoil reached 380,000 barrels per day this February. Which is the same level as a multiyear high reached in last year’s November.
Most of the rise is accounted by a higher intake from northwest Europe; from which the U.S. has imported nearly 140,000 bpd this February. Consequently, such level of imports will remain steady through March; with around 2,5 million barrels currently foreseen to arrive in that month.
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Energy trade from abroad increases margins
Moreover, gasoline imports from Europe have also increased. Vortexa estimates that, through February 1-18, almost 417,000 barrels per day of gasoline and blending components arrived. Which is the highest level since July, 2020; also, 27% higher than the previous three months.
In addition, Refinitv data shows that U.S. crack spread, key for measuring refining margins, settled at $15,43 a barrel this Thursday. Which is also the highest point since April 2020.
Consequently, Phil Flynn, analyst from Price Futures Group, said. “The cargoes are going to follow the margins and with prices improving here in the U.S. that would signal more cargoes to the U.S.”
Finally, the closure of the Houston’s shipping channel has led to tankers, due to load in the area, to divert away from the energy hub. “Everything is getting delayed or moving out of the Houston area and not coming back,” a shipbroker told Reuters.