A Several number of tankers carrying record levels of crude oil have been seen leaving in droves from the ports of Louisiana and Texas. A huge growth in the oil market of the United States is expected which would definitely a great test to the limits of infrastructure like dock space, pipelines and shipping traffic. The crude exports of the United States have rapidly shown a sharp prolific increase after a decades old ban was lifted just less than two year earlier. Now, the shipments have recently hit a record export of about two million barrels per day. But the traders and the shippers have a fear in the back of their mind that this increasing trend is not a sustainable one. Moreover, if limits are hit, it could result in putting pressure on the price of oil in the United States.
The exact amount of crude oil that the United States can export is still a mystery. Most of the companies and terminal operators will not reveal the exact capacity and the federal agencies like the US Energy Department do not keep a track of it. Still, the infrastructure of oil export will most probably need a further investment in the years to come. Bottlenecks would hit not only storage and the capacity of loading, but also a number of other factors such as pipeline connectivity and shipping traffic will also matter a lot. The analysts are of the viewpoint that the operators will start to run into bottlenecks if exports rise to about 3.5 million to 4 million barrels in each day. The RBC Capital analysts put the figure of exports a little lower to about 3.2 million barrels in each day.
The United States still has notl come close to that yet. A total of the highest loading days across the different ports of Houston, Corpus Christi, Port Arthur and New Orleans are the primary places where crude can be exported. This comes to a total of about 3.2 million barrels in each day. This is according to Kpler which is a cargo tracking service. But with the total crude production of the United States currently at 9.5 million barrels a day and is expected to add up about 800,000 to 1 million barrels a each day annually, then the export capacity could be tested before long. Over the time period of the past four weeks, exports have an average figure of about 1.7 million barrels a each day, which is more than triple a year earlier.