Seaborne crude and condensate exports from non-OPEC countries rose by just under 2mn b/d from a year earlier in Q4 2019 - up to a multi-year high - led by significant rises from the US, Brazil, Australia and Norway. This month Guyana loaded its first commercial crude cargo, marking a new entry into the group.
The US continued to increase seaborne crude exports towards the end of last year, posting around 3mn b/d in Q4, Vortexa data show, with exports from Corpus Christi representing the largest rise during 2019.
Brazil also saw Q4 exports boom to a multi-year high of 1.5mn b/d, an uptick of over 350,000 b/d year on year. US refiners in PADD 5 were a notable beneficiary of this, importing 125,000 b/d in Q4, up by around 90,000 b/d year-on-year and the highest such intake from Brazil on quarterly basis since 2016, according to Vortexa. Arrivals of Brazilian crude into China - its largest export market - also touched a multi-year high of around 850,000 b/d in the same quarter, supported by robust demand from independent refiners.
Australia, too, ramped up exports, boosted especially by condensates and heavy-sweet flows to Singapore. Q4 departures were 350,000 b/d, up close to 30% on the year.
The start up of Norway’s Johan Sverdrup oil field lifted the country’s Q4 exports to 1.6mn b/d, up by 340,000 b/d from Q3 and by 320,000 b/d on the year. China has been the largest recipient of Johan Sverdrup crude to date, but the grade has also gone to a range of buyers around Europe and the Mediterranean region, competing against Russian medium sour Urals.
This month Guyana loaded its first commercial crude cargo aboard the Suezmax Yannis P, which will soon discharge medium-sweet Liza crude in the US Gulf coast (PADD 3). A second Suezmax tanker, Eagle San Antonio, is due to load soon from the FPSO, with the fixture indicating it will also head to PADD 3.
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A wave of pipeline and terminal projects coming on stream has led to a boom in Corpus Christi’s seaborne crude exports in recent months, with volumes reaching a record high of 1.5mn b/d in January, Vortexa data show.