U.S. exports record amount of crude as Europe preps for Russian ban

Sheela Tobben August 17, 2022

(Bloomberg) — U.S. crude exports rose to a record as European refiners rushed to stock up supplies ahead of a ban on Russian imports.

Weekly shipments overseas reached 5 million barrels a day, surpassing a high set barely a month ago, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration. The increase itself -- a gain of 2.89 million barrels a day -- was also a record. 

The rise in exports underscores just how much the world is turning to American oil and natural gas for their energy needs as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shrinks supplies of both in the global market. In addition to Europe’s growing reliance, global markets are also switching to oil to fuel electricity needs as natural gas prices have soared since Russia curtailed supplies and became the target of sanctions worldwide. 

Adding to pressure on tight crude markets, Libyan exports fell precipitously last month, prompting European refiners to depend even more on the US for supply. About 45 million barrels of crude are expected to reach Europe in the month of August, which would be the highest since 2019 when Bloomberg started compiling data.

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