There is no under-estimating the impact of shale oil on the US.
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has reported that the USA now produces 8.7 million barrels of crude oil per day, up from 5.5 million in 2010. Virtually all the increase is attributable to the growth of the shale oil boom.
Gross inputs to refineries averaged a record 16.1 million barrels per day in 2014 compared with 15.1 million barrels per day in 2010. Nearly 75% of the 1.0 million barrel per day increase in refinery gross inputs is the result of a 4% increase in refinery utilization compared with 2010. The rest of the increase is attributable to capacity expansions, says the administration.
Total refinery capacity in the US has now reached 18 million barrels per day. The EIA says the additions were needed to cope with the increased volume of domestic production.
Meantime, imports of crude oil have fallen by 1.9 million barrels per day. International crude oil sellers can count themselves lucky that the US did not cut imports further. The fall of 1.9 million bpd is much smaller than the increased production of 3.2 million, with America’s improving economy helping to consume the difference.
While shale oil is good news for the US economy, it isn’t quite such a good thing for the global aluminium industry. Shale oil typically produces a lower grade of petroleum coke, and less of it, when it goes through a refinery. That means less feedstock for the anodes that the aluminium industry needs, and a poorer quality feedstock.
AZ China will be reporting more about this in the coming weeks.
* Thanks to Lone Sailer 48 for the info.