US Refiners Step Up Imports of Gasoline-friendly West African Crude

West African imports spiked in May with 5.2 million barrels being discharged in the U.S., more than doubling from April. Light oil, like that from West Africa, typically produces a greater percentage of gasoline than heavy oil.

Arathy Somasekhar and Noah Browning, Reuters

U.S. refiners last quarter imported West African oil at the highest rate in nearly three years, customs data showed, buying the gasoline-friendly crudes as they boosted motor fuel production to meet summer driving demand.

Imports from West African nations, primarily by East Coast operations of PBF Energy, Phillips 66 and Monroe Energy, were at least 11.6 million barrels in the second quarter, U.S. customs and ship-tracking data on Refinitiv Eikon showed, the highest since the third quarter of 2019.

Imports rose even as prices for Nigeria’s Qua Iboe and Yoho crudes touched record levels. Qua Iboe averaged a $4.20 premium to dated Brent in the quarter.

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