Houston — Over 220,000 barrels of sour crude oil was delivered from the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port in December, LOOP has reported.
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LOOP sour crude deliveries have averaged 476,250 barrels per month in 2020 but have fluctuated wildly as the coronavirus pandemic has rattled global oil demands, changing the supply and demand balance.
Deliveries of the grade, which consists of a blend of Poseidon, Mars and Basrah, Kuwaiti and Arab Medium crudes, hit zero for the first time on record in April and were again reported at zero in June. However, as a sign of the volatility in deliveries this year, in July, LOOP sour deliveries hit 1.45 million barrels, the most since January 2019 when deliveries hit just under 1.52 million barrels for the month.
An active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season suppressed offshore Gulf of Mexico crude output by an average of 120,000 b/d in 2020, the most since 2008, far exceeding the annual average of 20,000 b/d over the last decade, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics.
Gulf of Mexico production is expected to grow 160,000 b/d in 2021, largely due to the severe disruptions experienced in 2020, Platts Analytics noted.
Through December, Platts' assessment of front-month LOOP Sour crude barrels averaged just under a 60 cents/b premium to cash WTI, up from just under 3 cents/b in November.
The average API gravity for LOOP Sour in December was 29.49 degrees, lighter than November's average of 28.30 degrees; and sulfur content averaged 1.90%, sweeter than November's 2.30%, LOOP reported.
LOOP STORAGE AUCTION
LOOP and Matrix Markets offered up for auction 7,300 of its capacity allocation contracts during its monthly crude storage auction Jan. 5. The auction collectively equaled 7.3 million barrels of storage for the medium crude blend.
Of those offered, no contracts were sold of its LOOP Capacity Allocation Contracts during the auction with a Matrix representative noting that the auction took place at the same time of the OPEC+ meeting, pulling away the attention of market participants. The next auction will take place in February.