The ongoing surge in North American oil production will significantly reduce imports of seaborne crude into the US Gulf Coast in the coming years, according to energy analytics firm Bentek Energy. It says this will result in lower oil prices in the region relative to international benchmarks.
The volume of seaborne crude imports into the Gulf Coast region (PADD 3) is forecast to fall by 40% over the next five years to an average of 4.91 million b/d in 2016, according to the Bentek report Crude Awakening: Shale Boom Hits Oil.
Bentek estimates that total North American crude output -- the US and Canada combined -- will rise by 3.1 million b/d, or 36%, over the next five years (OD Jan.23'12).
Bentek's manager for oil analysis, Matt Marshall, noted that the complex refineries located along the US Gulf Coast are capable of handling a wide variety of crudes, making the region a prime target for US, Canadian and international oil producers.
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