Fewer OPEC barrels are reaching U.S. shores amid supply cuts

By Catherine Traywick on 3/21/2018

WASHINGTON (Bloomberg) -- U.S. refiners are taking less OPEC-produced oil than ever before as the group’s members continue trimming output.

Weekly crude imports from seven OPEC members fell 14% to 1.86 MMbpd last week, the lowest level since the Energy Information Administration began collecting weekly data in 2010. Compared with monthly data, it’s the lowest level since 1987. The decline comes as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies make significant strides in trimming a global supply glut. The group saw record compliance with production-cut targets in February.

Overall, U.S. crude imports fell to the lowest level in a month in the week ended March 16, according to the EIA. The biggest drops came from Ecuador, which saw shipments to the U.S. fall 86%, and Kuwait, which shipped 58% less crude than it did the prior week.

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