U.S. crude oil imports decline
While U.S. total net crude oil imports fell during 2013, the share of imports last year from the United States’ top three foreign oil suppliers – Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico – was the highest in at least four decades, according to preliminary annual trade data from Energy Information Administration's Petroleum Supply Monthly report. These three countries provided almost three out of every five barrels of oil imported into the U.S. market last year.
U.S. net crude oil imports in 2013 declined 10.2 percent to 7.6 million barrels per day (bbl/d), the lowest level since 1996, as rising domestic crude oil production cut into the volume of imports needed to meet refinery demand for crude oil, according to the EIA.
The overall decline in U.S. net imports has led to an increasing concentration of net imports from Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico. Combined net oil imports from these countries decreased by 1.5 percent last year. As a result, the 4.6 million bbl/d of oil supplied by these three countries accounted for 61 percent of total U.S. net oil imports in 2013, up from 55 percent the year before and their biggest share since at least 1973.
These countries generally produce medium to heavy, sour crude oil that is desirable to U.S. refineries, while increasing U.S. crude oil production from tight oil formations is typically of the light sweet quality. Also, with the exception of Saudi Arabia, these countries are near the United States, with Mexico having a short shipping distance for its oil to the large number of refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico have consistently been America's three largest crude oil suppliers, although their rankings vary from year to year. Highlights from the top three sources for U.S. crude oil imports in 2013:
- Canada. Crude oil imports averaged a record 2.5 million bbl/d, up 3.9 percent from 2012. Canada has few other outlets for Alberta’s rising heavy crude oil production, so most of it is exported to the United States.
- Saudi Arabia. Crude oil imports averaged 1.3 million bbl/d, down 2.6 percent, but still the second highest in five years. Through its Motiva Enterprises joint venture, the country's state oil company is a partial owner of three large U.S. Gulf Coast refineries that it partially supplies with Saudi crude.
- Mexico. Crude oil imports of 850,000 bbl/d were down 13 percent and the lowest in more than 20 years, reflecting the continued decline in Mexico's crude oil production. Still, Mexico produces significant amounts of heavy crude that is well-suited to run in U.S. Gulf Coast oil refineries.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.