The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port’s blended crude LOOP Sour has tended to become heavier but also sweeter recently as Iraqi Basrah Light continues to comprise the bulk of Middle East crudes that can be delivered into the cavern, according to data published Monday by LOOP.
LOOP Sour delivered ex-cavern over the past week has had an average API of 29.44 and sulfur content of 2.4%, LOOP said Monday. That compares with a 12-month average of 30.12 and 2.55%.
The blend becoming heavier can likely be explained by a larger amount of one of its five component crudes making its way into the blend. LOOP Sour is comprised of the US Gulf of Mexico grades Mars and Poseidon and a crude blend called Segregation 17, into which the Middle Eastern grades Arab Medium, Basrah Light and Kuwait Export Crude can be delivered.
From September through October 12, LOOP received 6.1 million barrels of Basrah Light and just shy of 1 million barrels of Kuwait, according to Platts Analytics and US Customs data. Arab Medium has not been imported into LOOP since July 20.
More recently, in October through the 12th, LOOP received about 2.55 million barrels of crude by water from two tankers, nearly 2 million barrels of which was Basrah Light while the balance was Maya from Mexico. Marathonbrought in the VLCC Pacific Glory on October 2 carrying 28.4 API Basrah Light, which was shipped by Koch from Iraq. Marathon also imported October 9 about 550,000 barrels of 22.9 API Maya on the tanker Marathon TS.
With more Basrah Light arriving at LOOP than other crudes, it could be expected that LOOP Sour would tend to look more like Basrah Light, which has been the case. (It is important to note that not all LOOP Sour-deliverable crudes that arrive at LOOP will be delivered into the LOOP Sour cavern.)
LOOP pipeline receipts of Mars and Poseidon are not available; however, Platts Analytics has estimated Mars/Amberjack and Poseidon production to average 532,000 b/d in 2017.
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.