With diluent demand on the rise in Venezuela, the country became the world's second-largest importer of US crude oil as of April 2016. Our analysts examine the numbers and what they could imply for the future of US crude exports.
Venezuelan demand for imported diluent continues to increase as its extra-heavy crude production rises. Our latest estimates suggest that demand could surge from 260 kb/d (thousands of barrels per day) in 2016 to as much as 720 kb/d in 2020.
This month alone, BP and the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) are each exporting 2.7 million barrels of WTI from the US to Venezuela — the equivalent of 180 kb/d — which could propel the country into becoming the world's second-largest importer of US crude oil for April 2016. PDVSA has previously sourced light crude from Algeria and Nigeria for its diluent needs.
While the size of future US crude oil exports to Venezuela remains to be seen, it's clear that the country has a growing appetite for diluent, and that the US could be a significant player in its supply.
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