Crude is rushing past Cushing on its way to the coast, but the traditional price setting center of the US oil industry is likely to maintain its role for years to come. The Nymex futures contract for light sweet crude oil delivering at Cushing is stronger than ever, with more than 2 bn bl of open interest.
Although historically popular with US midcontinent refiners, West Texas Sour (WTS) has had to change with the times and learn new tricks as both a supply gap filler and a blending component. WTS’ new role as a blending component to make West Texas Intermediate (WTI) from lighter Permian production has resuscitated WTS prices.
Booming US crude production and resulting export volumes are drastically changing global crude trade flows. With US Gulf coast crude exports expected to grow well past the current level of 3mn b/d, midstream players are busy building more pipelines to bring crude to the coast.
The loss of Venezuelan imports, the stagnation of Mexican production and the diversion of many Mideast grades to Asia has paved the way for Canadian grades — like Western Canadian Select — to take a strong share of the Gulf coast heavy crude market.
Shale production, US crude exports and pipeline shifts have dramatically changed the utility of Light Louisiana Sweet (LLS), which has shifted from bellwether to regional feedstock as new grades increasingly encroach on its territory.
Booming US crude production and resulting export volumes are drastically changing the global crude trade flow and market landscape. We explain why and how WTL (West Texas Light) spot trade has blossomed in west Texas as it makes its way toward the US Gulf coast and/or Cushing.