Kpler Oil (North Sea Floating Storage)

Originally Released on 16 June 2017

U.S top export terminals

SInce December 2016, Kpler data revealed 17 terminals exporting U.S. crude from Houston, Corpus Christi and New Orleans and Port Arthur ports. Five of these ports accounted for more than 50% of all U.S. seaborne exports of crude, as shown below:

U.S. top export terminals – seaborne

Oxy Ingleside is the terminal exporting the highest quantities of crude oil. It began operations in October 2016 and has since reached levels of 210 kbd in April and 180 kbd in May. Initial Kpler estimates hold that June exports from Oxy Ingleside  should end the month in the 200 kbd range, if loadings continue at the same pace.

The VLCC Anne entered Corpus Christi port earlier this year to perform compatibility tests. Local news stations reported that Anne loaded approximately 1 million barrels at port. However, Kpler system confirmed that she actually loaded a full cargo of heavy crude in Venezuela with a destination of Zhanjiang, China.

Light Sweet

North sea floating storage
BFOE floating storage slightly increased close to 8 million barrels aboard 6 Aframax and 2 VLCCs. These vessels are holding:

  • 6.2 million barrels of Forties
  • 1.2 million barrels of Ekofisk
  • 600 thousand barrels of Oseberg
Forties to Asia
Forties shipments to Asia showed strength in May attaining a record 335 kbd. Three VLCCs are headed towards South Korea and the two others towards China.
In June, 1 VLCC already loaded at Hound Point, and 3 more VLCCs signaled Hound point with a June ETA.


Ras Lanuf
Libyan terminal Ras Lanuf has resumed crude loadings following a 6-month shut down. Aframax Seaoath docked yesterday morning, chartered by ENI. Ras Lanuf represents a potential 200 kbd of additional light sweet crude, which was the levels of exports back since 2013.
WAF crude
China imports of WAF grades attained a record high in May. The country imported 1.55 million barrels per day of West African crude, which is an historical record.


Kpler OIL (May 2017 OPEC and Russian Exports)

Originally Released on 1 June 2017
OPEC exports  – May
Last week, Kpler announced OPEC preliminary exports between 24.3 mmbpd and 24.7 mmbpd. Final figures reveal that OPEC exports finished the month of May at 24.7 mmbpd. This was an increase compared to the month of April, which registered the lowest level of crude exportation since November. However, exports continued to remain below levels seen in October and March. All of this was despite rising exports in Nigeria and Libya alongside partial export recovery in Iran.
  • Libya: NOC announced that Libyan production passed from 550 kbd in April to 827 kbd (+277 kbd) in May following El Sharara and El Feel field resuming operations. This had an immediate impact on exports which increased from 460 kbd to 625 kbd (+165 kbd). NOC declared earlier this year that the country expected production to reach 1.1 mmbpd by the month of August.
  • Nigeria: Forcados resumed operations and supplied 3 million barrels in May. Two Suezmax and one Aframax already signaled Forcados as a loading point in June.
Russian exports – May
Russian exports decreased for the first time since the production-cut agreement. High compliance rates announced by Russian authorities had not been reflected in exports totals over the last few months which continued to rise through the month of April attaining a record 5,231 kbd. Kpler data shows that May exports dropped by 380 kbd, bringing exports down to 4,851 kbd which remains 135 kbd above November 2016 levels.

Kpler OIL (OPEC May preliminary data)

Originally Released on 25 May 2017

OPEC preliminary exports — May
As mentioned in previous reports, OPEC April exports fell below October levels for the first time in 2017. Much of this decline was due to falling exports from OPEC member nations exempted from the production cut. May exports are expected to remain below October exports despite a slight month-over-month increase, according to Kpler preliminary data. OPEC total exports are expected to end May at 24.3 mmbpd according to the loading rate from May 1st to present and  24.7 mmbpd according to our predictive model based on AIS, as shown in the 2 charts below:
OPEC exports – May actual exports in 24-day kbd

OPEC exports – May with scheduled cargos (AIS*)

*Our AIS model takes into account congestion time and berthing time for each port
  • Loading rate in Angola within the first 24 days of May was significantly below previous months. The drop is driven by less loadings of Clov, Girassol and Dalia grades.
  • El-Sharara and El-Feel fields resumed operation resulting in a significant increase in Zawia and Mellitah terminals exports. Libyan exports are expected to increase for the first time in 2017.
  • With Bonga field loadings back to normal and the Forcados field resuming operations, Nigerian exports are also expected to increase in May.
*Actual exported volumes in 24-day kbd

Kpler Crude Oil (Libya Exports)

Originally Released on 28 May 2017

Libya exports
As announced by Libyan NOC, Zawia terminal shipments resumed immediately after El Sharara and Al-Feel productions restarted. Zawia terminal exports passed from 16 kbd in April to an average 94 kbd through the first 18 days of May. These cargos mainly continued to supply MED refineries in Italy and France with several shipments also heading towards the United States.
The Minerva Kynthos is currently discharging 630,000 barrels of Libyan crude at Bayway refinery located in the US east coast. The Sigma Triumph heads towards New York after loading 600,000 barrels at the Es Sider terminal and Neverland Angel signaled Port Arthur with a June 3rd ETA. These 3 cargos averaged 55 kbd of Libyan crude exports to the United States until May18th.



CPC exports remained close to 1,220 kbd in April, according to our data. Two shipments are currently headed towards Asia: the first to Jamnagar refinery, which regularly takes one or two Suezmax per month, and the second to Kiire, South Korea.

In May, two Suezmax have already moved from the CPC terminal to Asia:

At least another Suezamax will load at CPC and head towards Asia, according to fixture data: Spyros K was fixed by Chevron for a CPC / South Korea voyage starting on May 20th.


Interesting Moves
  • First ANS export since August 2016. The Suezmax Sydney Spirit will deliver 1 million barrels to Eastern Asia with a May 28th ETA.  She was fixed by P66.
  • Two vessels left Saldanha Bay mid-May loaded with crude oil:
  • Aframax Elias Tsakos delivered 722,000 barrels of Urals to the PBF Paulsboro refinery on May 6th. The cargo was loaded at the Bahamas South Riding Point and shipped by Statoil. Additionnaly, the Aframax Botafogo loaded Urals at Primorsk and first signaled South Riding Point with a May 17th ETA. She is now signaling “Aruba – For Orders” close to the Bahamas.


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:


Kpler Crude Oil (Increase in North Sea Floating Storage)

Originally Released on 4 May 2017

OPEC exports – April final data
As mentioned last week, April export data for OPEC countries showed that the organization’s combined exports decreased compared to March and are for the first time below October levels when OPEC members started boosting exports. Below, our April final export figures:

  • Our data shows that Iran April exports reached a 13-month record low, exporting 2,111 kbd of crude oil and condensates and has no more supply-potential in floating storage (below 5 mmbbls)
  • After reaching 660 kbd in December, Libyan exports have decreased consistently and finished April at 470 kbd. However, El sharara field resumed operations restoring 200,000 bpd of production with an immediate effect, according to NOC. Zawia terminal, which exports this grade, has already shipped 2 aframaxes: Minerva Kythnos and Seanostrum on Apr.30 and May.3. They will head towards New York and Italy, respectively.
  • Nigeria increased exports in April compared to March with, in particular, Bonga maintenance operations completed, but remains 300 kbd below November figures (1892 kbd) and more or less at the same level than October.
  • Russia kept increasing volumes and exported in average 5160 kbd in April (+


North Sea floating storage
North Sea floating storage increased over the last week.Our data shows that 3.8 million barrels of BFOE grades are floating in 3 tankers:
  • VLCC Sea Lynx is storing 1,2 million barrels of Forties at Southwold anchorage
  • VLCC Desimi is storing 2 million barrels of Forties at Dumbar
  • Aframax Thornbury is storing 600,000 barrels of Ekokisk close to Teesside
Data showed that 2 VLCCs are expected to load in North Sea for now:


US Exports

April US exports slightly increased compared to March finishing the month at 764 kbd (+60 kbd vs March) according to our data. 400 kbd of the exported barrels signaled Asia as final destination.

In May, 1 VLCC already started loading US crude via ship-to-ship in Southwest lightering area and will head towards Eastern Asia.Gener8 Ares was fixed by Trafigura. She already loaded approx 1.5 million barrels from 3 smaller vessels.



Kpler Oil (OPEC Exports – April Preliminary Data)

Originally Released on 27 April 2017

OPEC exports – April preliminary data
April preliminary data for OPEC countries shows that the cartel’s combined exports  might decrease compared to March values and be for the first time below October levels when OPEC members started boosting exports. Below, a summary of our preliminary OPEC exports assessment since January 2016:

**April – 2017 figures are preliminary. Last update: April 27th

Beside a combined exports reduction, if OPEC exports decreased, it is not only a consequence of November agreement. A significant part of these reductions came from countries originally exempted from the production cut agreement:
  • Iran, Libya and Nigeria did not manage to boost exports in the last few months. Preliminary data shows that Iran April exports could reach a 10-month record low.
  • After reaching 660 kbd in December, Libyan exports have decreased consistently and might finish the month below 500 kbd.

Below, a comparison between combined exports coming from countries that agreed to cut production and countries exempted from cuts:


US imports – Next weeks outlook

EIA published one of the highest US import numbers for week-ending 04/21. Our data showed that a significant increase of imports coming from Arab Gulf were in part at the origin of such numbers. Crude from 9 different VLCCs reached US ports during that week.

The picture below shows all the ULCCs and VLCCs heading towards US Gulf Coast on April 27th. In the orange box, 9 ULCCs and VLCCs that indicated ETA between May 10th and May 15th. If we take into consideration the time needed to transfer their volumes via ship-to-ship operations, this could result in a situation similar to what happened week-ending 04/21 in week-ending May 19.

Middle East ULCCs and VLCCs heading towards PADD 3 – April 24th