Guest “No Schist Sherlock” by David Middleton
Why Biden Sent American Oil To China
Reuters reports that the U.S. sent 5 million barrels of oil to China, India, and Europe last month. Why?
For weeks, President Joe Biden has pointed to his release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as proof that he is doing all he can to lower gasoline prices for Americans. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is a stockpile of oil maintained by the United States Department of Energy, the largest of its kind in the world, held in underground tanks in Texas and Louisiana.
On June 22, Biden said, “I know my Republican friends claim, we’re not producing enough oil and I’m limiting oil production. Quite frankly, that’s nonsense,” said Biden. “I’ve added to that supply of oil by releasing a record 1 million barrels of oil per day from what’s called the Strategic petroleum reserve.”
But now it turns out that over 5 million barrels of that oil went to China and other nations last month, even as gasoline prices hit record highs. Some shipments went to India and others went to Italy.
It almost sounds like a conspiracy theory. Why in the world would Biden be sending American oil to China, America’s greatest geopolitical rival, at a time of oil and gasoline shortages?
But it’s not a conspiracy theory. Reuters broke the story using official data as well as anonymous sources. And the Biden administration confirmed it.
Not only that, but the shipment of U.S. oil overseas may have contributed to higher gasoline prices. “The export of crude and fuel is blunting the impact of the moves by U.S. President Joe Biden to lower record pump prices,” noted Reuters. “Crude and fuel prices would likely be higher if (the SPR releases) hadn’t happened,” said an oil industry analyst, “but at the same time, it isn’t really having the effect that was assumed.”
The revelation will no doubt be fodder for Biden’s “Republican friends” who have been attacking Biden for restricting oil and gas production, which he has, in fact, done. Every drop of oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is considered precious. And Biden has been rapidly draining it: last month, the SPR fell to its lowest level in over 35 years.
What exactly is going on? Why is Biden taking actions that not only appear contrary to America’s national interest but also to Biden’s political interests?
[…]Substack – Subscription required to read the rest of the article
Even though I’m a fan of Michael Shellenberger, I’m not a Substack subscriber, so I can’t read the rest of the article; but The Daily Caller article isn’t pay-walled.
REPORT: Oil That Biden Released From US Strategic Reserves Ended Up In China
NEWS AND COMMENTARY WRITER
July 06, 2022
Millions of barrels of oil released last month from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve by President Joe Biden went to foreign nations, including China, according to Reuters.
Biden ordered the release of 50 million barrels of oil from Strategic Petroleum Reserve in November, 30 million barrels on March 1 and 180 million barrels on March 31, saying the “historic” actions would ease the pressure faced at pumps. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve will continue to release one million barrels a day through October, even as the Strategic Petroleum Reserve has fallen to its lowest level since 1986, according to Reuters. U.S. crude inventories are at their lowest since 2004, according to the report.
“These releases will put more than one million barrels per day on the market over the next six months, and will help address supply disruptions caused by Putin’s further invasion of Ukraine and the Price Hike that Americans are facing at the pump,” Biden said in April when announcing the release.
But it turns out millions of barrels have been sent to China and other nations, according to Reuters. (RELATED: Is Biden’s Mass Release From The Strategic Oil Reserves Even Legal)
“China ramped up its purchases of crude oil from Russia and the United States to boost its own reserves, even as oil prices surged and President Biden called for a coordinated release,” Republican leaders wrote. “China is reportedly in talks with Russia to buy even more oil for its strategic reserves, while the United States and the E.U. pledged to ban Russian imports.”
“As a result, China may now control the world’s largest stockpile of oil, with total crude inventories estimated at 950 million barrels,” the letter continued.The Daily Caller
As a petroleum geologist, my first thought was: Of course some of the SPR oil was exported.
US crude oil production is currently around 11.6 million bbl/d.
We import just over 6 million bbl/d and export a bit more than 3 million bbl/d of crude oil.
Why do we export 3 million bbl/d while we’re importing 6 million bbl/d?
Why importing and exporting oil makes sense
First, there is economics. Decisions to import or export are typically based on supply and demand for a product at that location, as well as transportation costs. Products are often both exported and imported when it makes economic sense. For example, the United States is also the world’s leading producer and exporter of corn, yet in 2014, we still imported 635,000 metric tons of corn. Other products that are commonly both imported and exported include gasoline, cars, computers and aircraft parts, as detailed in data compiled by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Second, not all crude oil is the same. It ranges from light to heavy, high to low sulfur and sour to sweet. The bulk of the oil currently produced in the United States is light oil. And not all refineries are the same. Many Gulf Coast and Midwest refineries were designed to process heavy oil from Canada, Venezuela and Mexico. To use more light crude domestically, refineries would need to pay less for their oil feedstock and would run in a suboptimal fashion, or require a significant investment in new infrastructure.
“There’s a mismatch between the new production we’re developing as an industry and our country’s existing refining capacity,” said Ryan Lance, ConocoPhillips Chairman and CEO. “To process this new, lighter oil, refineries would have to operate inefficiently or at a reduced rate. They need to buy oil at a discount in order to make it economic to refine it, which hurts domestic producers and ultimately, consumers.”
Third, the United States has an abundance of light oil resources. Light crude production already exceeds refiners’ ability to process it at certain times of the year and that is expected to get worse as more oil is produced. Experts agree the United States should export to refineries set up to process light oil in other countries and import heavy oil to refine at home. Exports would consume only part of U.S. production. Refiners would still have all the light oil they can process, and would still enjoy a competitive advantage over foreign refiners due to the $2- to $6-per-barrel cost of transporting U.S. oil overseas.
The United States is producing more light oil today than at any point in recent history. Over the past few years, the United States has virtually eliminated imports of light oil. These light oil imports were replaced by domestically produced light oil, mostly from shale formations.
[…]Content from ConocoPhillips
US refineries are approaching full utilization.
JUNE 10, 2022
EIA expects high refinery margins to contribute to increasing fuel production this summer
In our June 2022 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), we forecast that U.S. refinery utilization will be relatively high this summer in response to strong wholesale prices for petroleum products, such as diesel and gasoline, which have increased more than the price of the crude oil used to make them.
The price difference between the price of crude oil and the wholesale price of a refined petroleum product reflects the value of refining crude oil. This difference, known as the crack spread, can indicate refining margins and profitability. Crack spreads for both diesel and gasoline increased in the first several months of 2022.
Gasoline and diesel prices and crack spreads are well above historical averages in response to several factors including:
•Low inventories for both petroleum products in the United States and globally
•Fuel demand increases to near pre-pandemic levels
•Relatively low refinery production of both fuels compared with pre-pandemic levels
•Reduced petroleum product exports from Russia
In response to these high prices, we expect that refinery utilization will reach a monthly average level of 96% twice this summer, near the upper limits of what refiners can consistently maintain. We expect refinery utilization to average 96% in June, 94% in July, and 96% in August.
We estimate U.S. refinery inputs will average 16.7 million b/d during the second and third quarters of 2022. This average is lower than the 2019 refinery inputs average of 17.3 million b/d despite high utilization rates because of reductions in refinery capacity since early 2020. U.S. refinery capacity has fallen by almost 1.0 million b/d since early 2020 because several refineries were closed or converted.
We expect wholesale prices for gasoline and diesel will begin decreasing in the third quarter of 2022, as refinery production increases. Despite our forecast price decline, we expect that wholesale fuel prices will remain well above previous years through the summer, based on higher crude oil prices as well as the ongoing impact of low global inventories. Low international inventories are likely to face additional tightness in response to the recently announced European ban on Russia’s energy imports.
Principal contributors: Kevin HackEIA
Adding 1 million bbl/d to this equation doesn’t alter the fundamental equation, even if the barrels came from the SPR.
While I’d like to pin this on the Biden crime family, It most likely gets chalked up to Biden incompetence. He had no idea where the oil in the SPR came from or where it would go when he started dumping it on the market. Dumping SPR oil onto the market to try to boost his miserable poll numbers was just a really dumb thing to do. It might even be an impeachable offense… But I don’t think it’s a nefarious Hunter Biden scheme… However, if anyone has any evidence that it is… Please post it! I’d love to be wrong about this one.
I would blame silly ESG and Green New Deal lite policies for restricting investment in new refining capacity.
The US should have the capacity to refine our own production, but restricting investment by proposed regulations is more of the cause. Refineries are a long term investment, and guessing what policy will be in the foreseeable future is dim.
As long as the Democrats are into pushing global warming CO2 reduction, all investments in fossil fuels will be insecure.
I know of at least two refineries that were shut down during the pandemic, Gallup and Martinez. A Cheyenne refinery has been converted to a bio-diesel refinery.
I think 6 refineries were shut down and several were converted to far less efficient biodiesel production.
David, when do refineries usually do their turnarounds? I thought it was spring/summer, when they see-saw between diesel and gasoline based on summer driving and winter home heating.
Not David, but not sure this is correct. Refineries are built to refine a crude (or various crudes) feedstock into basically six product streams based on ‘heaviness’: gas (lightest fraction), then diesel, then jet kerosene, then fuel oil, then lubricants like greases, and finally residual tar/asphalt. Once chemically engineered and plumbed, for a given range of crude feedstock those refinery fractional distillations are pretty fixed. Bulk Storage buffers the seasonal variations between outputs.
I’ve read that refineries have the ability to adjust the ratio of those six products by a small amount.
jet kerosene is lighter than gas. yes refineries could adjust the mix within a certain range by cracking the heavier portion to lighter portion and platforming the lighter fraction to heavier fraction. then there is the economics of blending sweet crude or low sulfur crude. For this reason a crude oil producing country may end up in the short term importing crude oil from other oil exporting countries while exporting its crude elsewhere.
Jet falls between gasoline and diesel, gasoline being more volatile and diesel being heavier. Here’s a good graphic.
They can adjust the rations quite a bit. Initially gasoline was a waste product that they discarded. When the auto came along and there was a use for it, they didn’t have enough so they developed platinum catalyst that allow they to crack the heaver stuff into gasoline. Twice a year they adjust the catalyst because in the winter they want more heavy heating oil. In the summer they need more gasoline for vacationers to power their cars. Often you will see the prices climb in the spring and fall when they shut the refineries down for repairs and to juggle the catalyst.
Thanks, David, for the post. When I heard that Biden was selling SPR oil to China, India and Europe, I was hoping you’d comment. Thanks again.
The International Energy Agency’s 31 member nations plan to release 120 million barrels from their emergency oil reserves, including 60 million barrels from a previously announced drawdown from U.S. stockpiles.
Where does it say US SPR crude is going to China. You have details of a particular tanker ?
Most likely is the US crude is absorbed by US market and doesn’t even leave the country , a million barrels per day compared to US consumption of 20 Mill per day.
Even China is doing it as
“China will release crude oil from its national strategic stockpiles around the Lunar New Year holidays that start on Feb. 1 as part of a plan coordinated by the United States with other major consumers to reduce global prices, sources told Reuters.”
The realities behind this may be different to claimed but the idea that China is buying crude shipped from US is essentially absurd unless there’s direct evidence
No they aren’t. At least not since they made that hollow promise…
In the Reuters article…
Next time, try reading the post prior to making asinine comments. The Reuters article was referenced and/or linked to about 6 times in the post.
Duker lacks the intelligence to make anything but asinine comments.
Isnt it ‘good’ that its going to European refineries as Europe is supposed to be moving to restrict their usage of Russian oil ( by pipeline and ship). Its
It’s not a matter of good or bad destinations. The SPR’s purpose is to replace imported crude oil when supplies are disrupted.
We were importing very little crude oil prior to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. Our imports were largely unaffected.
We do have mutual agreements with some nations to cover their imported oil disruptions with the SPR. We have no such agreement with China.
That’s not what was done here. Biden is simply depleting the SPR in an unprecedented manner to try to lower oil prices.
He does what he’s paid to do, agitate for the “team”.
Try to follow along…
‘Based in Houston, UNIPEC America stands in the forefront of UNIPEC’s global trading expansion. The business territory of UNIPEC America covers the United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and other countries in the Americas and its business scope extends from crude oil to products, propane and other energy commodities since its formation in 2010. ‘
If it was Sinopec the parent company , maybe they are shipping it to China but it doesnt appear so
They are Sinopec’s marketing arm in the Americas. They purchase crude oil for shipment to Sinopec’s refineries in China.
The US was exporting some crude oil to China prior to the idiotic SPR release.
Hopefully word salad Bob can tell us you are wrong 😉
blob popped up out of the blue when I dared to question the confidence interval generated by one of the trendologists…
Confidence intervals ONLY apply when you have a standard deviation. Standard deviation only applies when you have an independent, identically distributed probability. I.e. each element is independent of each other and they are equally distributed around a mean so that the negatives and positives cancel.
Temperature measurements from different locations using different measurement devices are NOT identically distributed although they are independent. They are multiple measurements of different things and cannot be guaranteed to cancel so that the mean represents the true value. There ISN’T a true value in such a case.
Thus there can be no standard deviation. And if there is no standard deviation there can’t be a confidence interval.
Such a distribution should *NOT* be described by average and standard deviation. It should be described using the 5-number description: minimum, first quartile, median, third quartile, and maximum.
How statisticians can confuse this is nothing more than a symptom of pushing an agenda.
It’s bad… How bad… Impeachment, Conviction, and Removal.
It’s like foreigners are ruling our country.
How could that be? An alien & hostile ideology:
Globalism (the Cult of Green).
It is apparent that the commentators, while perhaps correctly criticizing the incompetent ‘resident’ Biden, don’t know a lot about oil. Two examples:
The economics forced shutdown of smaller old marginal US refining capacity (about 6 old refineries) definitely hurts. Unfortunately for Biden and equally incompetent DoE Sec Grenholm, that has nothing to do with the SPR. Thanks to fed regulations, no new US refining capacity has been built since about 1976, just upgrades to existing already permitted capacity, mainly to handle changing crude mix. Almost 50 years with nothing new—in what other industry would that be true? None. EPA was established in 1970–good job, not!
Most of the SPR is actually held in salt caverns… Otherwise, spot on.
Conversion of the Bryan Mound Geological Site Characterization Reports to a Three-Dimensional Model
So in addition to sweet and sour, we also have salty oil.
Considering the fact that most Gulf Coast and Gulf of Mexico oil fields are trapped in structures related to salt tectonics and the oil is floating on hypersaline brine, salty oil is fairly common.
The Marathon Garyville, LA refinery is the newest (1976). I spent a few days working there last century sometime. Nice facility as far as refineries go. Had my first Krispy Kreme donut as I recall. I also recall that in the lab, all of valves for the gas utilities were color coded. Nice touch.
The 2019 explosion of the Philadelphia refinery really hurt. I spent a couple of days there when it was Sunoco, in July and had to wear Nomex. That was hot.
IIRC from ~20 ya when gas prices went > $2/gal, the Alaskan North Slope oil (medium sour) went
to Washington, Oregon, & Japan, as their refineries were set for that oil benchmark. The export
market has expanded to Eastern Asia, with it being sold to the highest bidder- which includes China.
I’m getting conflicting %s as to where it’s going.
1) How hard is it to adjust a refinery for different benchmarks? Do the settings have a wide enough
range for “neighboring” benchmarks? Can different crude benchmarks be blended before refining?
How much does a benchmark determine what products can be distilled? How much product is lost
with mismatched benchmark settings, if that can be done in the first place?
2) Does anyone have the latest data on what % is being sold to whom?
Very little North Slope oil was exported…
Thanks. Exporting US oil when gas prices rise is always a bone of
contention for us Yanks.
Not that it should be. Exporting US oil to other places and shipping their oil here does not increase prices. Instead it reduces it by allowing over all decreased shipping costs.
Yep… It improves overall market efficiency.
Ja. Ja. They make it more expensive so you will use less to save the environment…
In the meantime the laws to save the environment begin to sound the same as the laws that the nazi’s made to keep the Aryan race pure. They are the same lies from the devil.
Oil is priced in the futures markets based on supplies in the future. SPR releases from storage are not a supply source, and so have little impact on the futures pricing mechanism.
Isn’t that ‘spot prices’ compared to the other method of longer term contracts for certain volumes
I wish I could remember which law and when exactly it was passed at the Federal level which prohibits new refineries from being built. As a result, we’re left with diminished capacity in the overall refining process when maintenance, upgrades or other downtime occurs at any facility.
Point being, this is on the list of blames for any increase of gas prices. Lower than I think current events, but still on the list.
There is no law, per se, that prohibits the construction of greenfield refineries.
It is, for all practical purposes, absolutely impossible to get the requisite permits to allow the building of new refineries— the effect is the same.
If there was an opposite reason for why the SPR was created in the first place, I can’t think of a better example than this.
Wrote about this previously. At the time conceived (circa 1973), the SPR planned capacity was strategic in terms of conflict and military oil requirements. But two things happened.
So at best SPR is now a tactical reserve that Biden raided for political purposes.
We’re spitting distance, Biden slobber speaking, from becoming a fascist centrally planned state.
What do you think a government centrally planned and paid for reserve of a commodity is. Socialism?
Next you will be saying government social security is really free Enterprise
That was the time US was truly dependent for a large portion of it’s needs in oil from overseas especially the Saudis
But you may have noticed there’s been a change to near/actual self sufficency in the last decade
That Biden has been limiting US oil production and that Biden has been releasing oil from the SPR, are not mutually exclusive statements.
I don’t know if Biden simply isn’t bright enough to realize that, or he actually believes the rest of are dumb enough to fall for that line.
He definitely understands his base. Dumber than a box of rocks.
He doesn’t care what people with IQs higher than room temperature think.
Wow, this is actually intentional!
If we were at war with another country and they could control our energy policy to obliterate us…………it would be the Biden energy policy.
EIA liquid energies-draining the SPR!!
Between SPR sales previously authorized by Congress and Brandon, the SPR will be dangerously low by 2031…
Xi would appear to own the big guy.
Joey is the alleged President….not legitimate due to 2000 Mules….but impeach him and look at who’s next – Kackala.
After he said “end of quote. Repeat the line” in his latest speech, it’s time to give FJB the hook. This
is at least the second time he’s done that. His “Asufutimaehaehfutbw” last week along with him
showing his cue card, too, puts him over the top for me. 25th Amendment time!
As much as Kackala’s not much better, maybe she’ll get better handlers, coaches & speech writers
to go with her new gig. We can only hope!
h/t another ian
As long as they can teach her not to cackle after every other line.
Have you heard the story of the scorpion and the frog?
Kackala is the result of 2000 Mules too…..so next is Nanci…..no, wait, the new Speaker of the House would be next.
Kackala is the poison pill purposely designed to prevent him being impeached. Get rid of Sleepy Joe, and you get Kackala. Then get rid of her, and you get Crazy Nancy. After that it’s dunderheads all the way down.
This is silly. Oil is fungible; it could be sold to anybody and still make oil cheaper for China. C’mon, man, take an Econ 101 course.
The crime is selling the STRATEGIC RESERVE oil which is meant for emergencies, such as actual war.
The criminality might be debatable… The stupidity is unprecedented.
Correct. “Crime” was my exaggerated reaction; a moral crime, not a legal crime unless the fine print in some federal law actually establishes clear limits on when it can be drawn down, which I doubt. Political as all get out.
Like anything else of vital social and or economic importance, the Democrats redefine it to profit themselves, not the country. 10% for the big guy, right Joe!
I still giggle when I see that phrase. Can’t help it.
Here’s an article from RCP on it. Of course no mention of Hunter’s connection to Sinopec! And THAT is the real story here. And so that will be ignored by the legacy media.
Why U.S. Petroleum Reserve Oil Went Overseas | RealClearPolitics
Why Biden Sent American Oil To ChinaReuters reports that the U.S. sent 5 million barrels of oil to China, India, and Europe last month. Why?
this one isnt paywalled
even funnier? is the russian oil from china and more so India being processed and sold at a tidy profit TO the morons in the EU.
both feet shot to bits;-))
I also see the fools in the G7 think they can apply price caps to russian oil
zerohedge has a few articles on it that are worth a read last couple of days
Have you noticed how often a headline appears about climate doomsday and what we should be doing but the article is behind a paywall? If what is written is truly a matter of life and death you would think that the writer and publisher would have this freely available to the public. Perhaps the headline grossly exaggerates what is merely an unsubstantiated opinion but this way they get naive people to subscribe? How is this any different from fraudulent advertising? Can we not report these newspapers to the Advertising Standards Authorities?
Hunter just happened to be in the right place at the right time….again. Obviously Brandon doesn’t know what he’s doing but things do get steered in the right directions. In summary, both scenarios played out. How fortuitous.
Just how much of this went to Hunter? And did the Big Man get a kickback?
China is operating with the polar opposite energy plan as the United States kills abundant, reliable and power dense fossil fuels(which don’t need batteries) for ANTI environmental bird/bat killing wind and solar and very anti environmental batteries.
Keep in mind that CO2 is well mixed in the global atmosphere, so the CO2 cuts by the US and Europe will be SWAMPED by the increase in Asia.
One of them will see a positive contribution to economic health for that country.
One of them will be a disaster for the economy.
EXCLUSIVE China boosts oil reserves, ignoring U.S. push for global releasehttps://www.reuters.com/business/energy/exclusive-china-boosts-oil-reserves-ignoring-us-push-global-release-2022-02-25/
Russia Overtakes Saudi Arabia as China’s Top Oil Supplierhttps://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-06-20/china-buys-7-5-billion-of-russian-energy-with-oil-at-record#xj4y7vzkg
The US has 24% of the world’s coal but there hasn’t been a new coal plant built in the US since 2012, while the vast majority have already been shut down or are planned to be shut down.
COP26 aims to banish coal. Asia is building hundreds of power plants to burn ithttps://www.reuters.com/business/energy/cop26-aims-banish-coal-asia-is-building-hundreds-power-plants-burn-it-2021-10-29/
Life without petroleum-based products
433 Trillion to completely electrify the United States
Electric cars use 6 times more minerals China dominates the world supply.
Even though this is just circumstantial evidence – just before the big sell to China Joe was at Camp David along with his crack head son, Hunter.
They spent the weekend there together doing talking about only God knows what. After all Joe thinks Hunter is the smartest man in the room when it comes to finances or investments.
Hunter says that Joe does whatever Hunter wants because he worships Hunter.
Then, they have that fake metal ceremony at the White House with Hunter in attendance at the same time that this oil is being sold to China.
Come to find out, the oil was sold to a Chinese company that Hunter Biden has a 1.2 billion dollar interest in.
So, tell me, based on this and knowing the corruption that the Biden crime family was involved in with the Ukrainans and Russia – should we be wondering if what Joe said about selling off our oil to China would help bring down prices here in America was true or was it just a ruse to help his kid get some extra money – you know being a crack head with a family living in a million dollar plus house on the California coast is expensive along with supporting his hooker mama’s baby.