Kpler Crude Oil (Caribbean Exports & Storage)

Originally Released on 11 May 2017
Caribbean exports / storage
Storage sites in Caribbean have been multiplied over the last decades, in part due to refineries stopping operations. Some of the terminals store grades from diverse origins whereas other terminals leases capacity to National Oil Companies such as Venezuelian PDVSA or Petrobras. This week, we decided to look at the trends of the main storage sites in Caribbean which could serve as indicators of storage level variation as we noticed increased movement over the last few weeks:
  • Saint-Croix:
Located in the US Virgin Islands, Saint-Croix terminal was converted from a 350 kbd capacity refinery into a storage site and can store up to 13 million barrels of crude oil and products.
The terminal received diverse crude grades such as Ekofisk, Castilla and US crude in 2016 and 2017. With no refineries left within US virigin islands, net exports are a good indicator of crude storage variation over the last few months. Our data shows that no crude was shipped from the site since January 2016. April and May have seen 4 shipments already totaling +2 million barrels of net exports, which can be interpreted as a 2 million barrels of inventories decrease.
  • Sint Eustatius:
Owned by NuStar Energy, it is mainly used by Venezuelan National oil company PDVSA as a blending and export hub.The terminal has a similar storage capacity than Saint-Croix, around 13 million barrels.
Aggregated net exports from Jan-2016 to March-2017 reaches negative 8.3 million barrels, which can be interpreted as an inventory build of the same magnitude. However, the trend has changed in April and first part of May. Net exports attained +1.6 million barrels  indicating a slight decrease in inventories over that period.
  • Aruba terminal
As Saint-Croix, Valero Aruba is a former refinery converted into a storage site. The terminal typically receives Venezuelan, Colombian and Ecuadorian grades and ships it mainly to the United States. The site can store around 6 million barrels of crude and 7 million barrels of products.
Aruba terminal net exports were balanced from Jan-2016 to March-2017, which means that all the exported crude was replaced by new barrels arriving in the same period. But from the beginning of April to date, net exports already reached 2 million barrels, which leads to the same conclusions than previously.

In total, our data shows that approx. 6 million barrels have cleared from inventories in the three terminals mentioned above, which represents close to 20% inventory reduction in those terminals.

  • Bullenbay, Curacao terminal
Bullenbay terminal is mainly leased to PDVSA for refining, blending and export operations. The terminal supplies crude to PDVSA operated Isla refinery (approx.335 kbd capacity). Therefore, is it not possible to use net exports as an indicator of inventories variation. However, it is interesting to see how shipments from this terminal towards China have significantly increased since January 2017 without significantly decreasing exports from Venezuelan ports to the same country, as shown in the 2 charts below:


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