As Asian demand for oil rebounds and the price of crude flirts with $55 a barrel, Gulf Coast export terminals are busier than popcorn in a hot skillet. A quick flashback to this time last year: The U.S. exported a record high 3.7 million BPD to Asia—a wee month before the mother of all perfect storms began her descent. Reese Energy Consulting today is studying the remarkable return of U.S. crude oil exports from the Gulf to Asia, which climbed to nearly 51 million barrels last month. In a contest of global pandemic recovery, Asia wins the speed race. Now, its three largest crude consumers are back for even more American oil to resuscitate their economies. This, by the way, has helped drive up oil prices by more than 13%. Win-win. Nowhere is the export rush more visible than at the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), where eight supertankers containing 15 million Bbls of crude—double its export volumes in December—set sail in January bound for China, South Korea, and India. The LOOP currently serves as the only Gulf terminal capable of loading VLCCs that hold up to 2 million Bbls of oil.
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