Imports of Iraqi Basrah Light crude into the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port so far in April have risen by more than 4.4 million barrels from the same period in March, according to data from Platts Analytics and US Customs.
In the first half of April, 4.937 million barrels of Basrah Light were imported into Morgan City, Louisiana, the delivery point for LOOP. This represents more than double the amount of the grade imported into LOOP for all of March, which had a total import level of 2.027 million barrels. In the first half of March, only 525,000 barrels were imported in Morgan City.
Imports of Basrah Light crude are also higher year on year. For the first half of April 2017, only 525,000 barrels of Basrah Light were imported into LOOP. For the whole of that April, such imports amounted to 3.557 million barrels, about 1.38 million barrels less than in the first half of April 2018.
As spring refinery maintenance season draws to a close, rising refinery run rates have led to increased demand for imported sour grades. Maintenance remains ongoing at 12 regional refineries, with a total combined capacity of 3.126 million b/d, according to Platts data.
Since the start of March, refinery run rates in the US Gulf Coast have increased 666,000 b/d to 9.053 million b/d, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration.
Basrah Light, which has an average API gravity of 30.6 degrees and typical sulfur content of 2.19%, is a component grade of a crude blend called Segregation 17. The blend also includes Arab Medium and Kuwait Export Crude.
Segregation 17 makes up part of LOOP Sour crude, which also includes domestic medium sour grades Mars and Poseidon.
The ‘In the LOOP’ Americas crude oil wrap runs each Monday in Crude Oil Marketwire, North American Crude and Products Scan and on the Platts Global Alert. You can read the FAQ: USGC LOOP Sour crude here and find the full special report LOOP Sour Crude: A benchmark for the future here. Also be sure to download our LOOP app by searching for ‘Platts LOOP’ in your app store.
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