Oil shortage or surplus? Floating storage swamps Europe

Oil shortage or surplus? Floating storage swamps Europe

OPEC is considering whether or not to raise its oil production to prevent the global market from becoming too squeezed, but there is one part of the world that is telling a very different story about the balance between supply and demand.

The boom in U.S. shale shipments has outstripped OPEC’s production cuts and pushed millions of barrels into European waters, where more crude is being stored on ships than at any time in the last 18 months.

And it’s not just the volume of oil aboard ships. At a monthly average in May of 12.9 million barrels, or 26 percent of total global floating storage, Europe had more oil in floating storage than the Asia-Pacific region at 9.7 million, according to data from oil analytics firm Vortexa.

In March-April, Europe’s share was 10 percent versus 40 percent in Asia-Pacific. Vortexa estimates the monthly average share of oil in floating storage located in European – including the Mediterranean – in May outstripped volumes floating in Asia-Pacific for the first time since at least the beginning of 2015. Read More

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