The Texas Gulf Coast oil terminals sent abroad more crude than they received in April, the Energy Information Administration said this week. During that month, crude oil exports from the Houston-Galveston port district exceeded imports by 15,000 bpd. Over the next month, the advantage of exports over imports welled further, to an impressive 470,000 bpd.
Total U.S. oil exports in may hit a record of 2 million bpd, with Houston-Galveston’s share of the total at a record-breaking 70 percent, from an average of about 50 percent since the middle of 2017, the EIA said.
The bulk of crude oil exports from the Houston-Galveston area went to China, Canada, Italy, and the UK, with exports to China averaging 300,000 bpd in both June and July. This month, however, not a single crude oil cargo has been loaded for China, according to media reports, amid growing trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.
Meanwhile, however, Texas is on track to become the biggest oil producer after Russia and Saudi Arabia, according to production estimates by HSBC, quoted by CNN. If the estimates turn out to be correct, the Lone Star State will be pumping almost 6 million bpd in 2019.
RBC goes further, expecting production in Texas to boom to more than 6.5 million barrels daily over the next seven to ten years. Not everyone is so optimistic, however. Skeptics believe the shale oil boom in Texas led by the Permian Basin, will peak at much lower levels than 6 million bpd, not least because of the substantial debt loads of many shale drillers in the area.
Until this happens, oil production in the state is growing: over the 12 months to June it added 27 percent to 4.3 million bpd, according to the latest report from the Texas Alliance of Energy producers. This represented 40 percent of the U.S. total for that month.