The U.S. export surge
The Energy Information Administration issued a report yesterday that shows exports of crude oil and refined petroleum products reached record levels in the first half of 2017.
Why it matters: The data signals how the U.S. has become a major player in global petroleum markets. The expansion of crude oil exports is especially noteworthy — the lifting of the crude export ban in late 2015 combined with the shale oil surge has enabled a major rise in U.S. crude shipments.
The gritty details: Crude oil exports, which grew by 300,000 barrels per day to 900,000 bpd in the first half of the year compared with the same period in 2016, have really taken off in recent weeks, fueled in part by the size of the discount of WTI compared with Brent crude.
Other EIA data released yesterday shows exports of 1.8 million barrels per day in the week ending Oct. 13, which is up from the 1.3 million the prior week. It's not quite the nearly 2 million in late September when refinery outages from Hurricane Harvey was pushing excess supply of discounted crude into the arms of willing global buyers.