A few days ago, the Maran Apollo, a 1,100-feet long oil tanker, left the U.S Gulf of Mexico for the Chinese port of Rizhao hauling a cargo of two million barrels of U.S. crude. Sitting for almost two months, the supertanker held demand-less crude during the coronavirus outbreak. This crude sitting on the tanker is known as medium-heavy sour crude and is now in high demand because of its higher content in sulfur and denseness. Sour crude is typically from Canada and the U.S. Gulf Coast whereas West Texas Intermediate (WTI) is a “sweet” crude oil. WTI, which is typically lighter and is less expensive to produce. Known as “sour” which is typically undesirable for both processing and end-product quality, it’s the kind of oil that Saudi Arabia and its allies produce. Urals of Russia and Arab Light from Saudi Arabia are normally two of the most widely consumed in today’s market, but crude is in increasingly short supply due to record output cuts by the two nations and their allies.
International Energy Association (IEA) reported booming U.S. output will offset falling exports from Iran and Venezuela.
Oil prices rose by more than 1 percent on Monday, lifted by optimism that talks could soon resolve the trade war between the United States and China, while supply cuts by major producers also supported the market.
The Gulf Coast is being battered by strong winds and heavy rains courtesy of Tropical Storm Gordon, which hit the Louisiana-Alabama-Mississippi coastline Tuesday night. As the storm approached land, the winds increased speeds and threatened to be categorized as a fully-fledged hurricane. Meteorologists are predicting up to 1 foot of rain and inland flooding from Mississippi to Arkansas.