North America Crude Markets short-term outlook: December 2022
In early December, two major pieces of regulation took effect: the EU banned purchases of Russian oil, and G7+ implemented a price cap on Russian crude. Both measures could have widespread impacts on global trade, including international demand for US crude. US waterborne exports posted another strong month in November, nearing the record average from October. The initiatives to shun Russian crude could further alter buying patterns for US barrels. Headwinds in the form of the end of historic US SPR releases could limit near-term upside for US waterborne volumes. Other topics addressed in this report include: • Rapidly rising freight rates impact on Brent/WTI forecast • An update on persistently wide WCS differentials and the various drivers • The Sea Port Oil Terminal (SPOT) clears a major hurdle – what does this mean for US coastal infrastructure? • Robust Permian supply gains persisted through the summer, but will the steep rate of growth continue?