The Sharara Oilfield Reopens

Early this week, Libya’s Sharara oilfield, the largest of its kind in the north African nation-state, was taken offline because of a takeover by non-governmental militia forces. Such a disruption cut off significant production – Sharara yields 230,000 barrels-per-day.According to Libya’s National Oil Corporation, it appears that the dispute has ended and the Sharara field is once again fully operational. The Seaways Hatteras was originally expected to load at the Zawia export terminal, which is connected by pipeline to Sharara, on October 3rd. There was some uncertainty regarding whether this vessel would be able to load. Fortunately, it appears that she entered the berth on October 5th and is currently loading approximately 1 million barrels of crude.

World Oil-on-Water and Floating Storage

Between 9/30 and 10/5, total oil-on-water rose from 889 million barrels to 917 million barrels. At the same time, the percentage of this oil-on-water that was floating storage fell below the 5% level seen for much of the previous week. KPLER designates floating storage for crude loaded on vessels moving at less than 3 knots for at least the past 7 days.

Philadelphia Slowly Returns to Normality

Over the course of the last two weeks, the Port of Philadelphia has grappled with difficult ship-to-ship and port-to-ship loading conditions resulting from Tropical Storm Maria. Thankfully, it appears that vessels are now readily discharging crude.

  • Ns Challenger: discharged approximate 475,000 barrels of Brass River crude on October 1st at the Monroe Energy Installation.
  • Tofteviken: discharged approximately 448,000 barrels of Akpo crude on October 3rd at the Delaware Refinery complex (located next to Delaware City).
  • Zenith Spirit: is currently discharging approximately 300,000 barrels of crude at the Fort Mifflin installation.

On Tuesday, there was a combined 6.1 million barrels of oil-on-water in the Big Stone Lightering zone and near the entrance to Delaware Bay. As of 10/5, it appears this volume has dropped to approximately 4 million barrels.

Tropical Storm Nate

Yet another tropical cyclone is expected to impact the Gulf Coast next week. Tropical Storm Nate, currently located on the eastern side of Nicaragua is expected to pass over the Yucatan Peninsula and enter the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday. The National Hurricane Center currently estimates the storm could strengthen slightly and will make landfall in Louisiana or Mississippi early next week.There is still a high degree of uncertainty regarding this storm track. KPLER will keep a close eye on the situation. It is possible that Nate could impact U.S. import/export operations.

Chinese Seaborne Crude Imports Down Slightly in September

Seaborne crude oil imports into China were lower by 35 kbd in September compared to August. China realized significant month-over-month increases in imports from Angola (+54 kbd), Iraq (+139 kbd), Russia (+135 kbd), Malaysia (+37 kbd), and Saudia Arabia (+75 kbd). The opposite was true of crude imported from Oman (-175 kbd), Iran (-23 kbd), Kuwait (-57 kbd) and Brazil (-74 kbd) among others.