Source: Barrel Blog | Mary Hogan | February 6, 2018
The US crude blend LOOP Sour was lighter and more sour in January, according to a monthly assay posted by the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port.
As LOOP Sour crude became lighter, LOOP imported 4 million more barrels of Iraqi Basrah Light and 1.5 million more barrels of Kuwait Export crude than in December. Because not all LOOP-deliverable crudes arriving at LOOP are delivered into the LOOP Sour cavern, it is unknown how many of these Iraqi and Kuwaiti barrels were blended into the stream.
The oil terminal allocates one of its eight underground caverns to a medium sour blend comprised of US Gulf of Mexico grades Mars and Poseidon and a blend of Middle Eastern crudes called Segregation 17, which is comprised of Arab Medium, Basrah Light and Kuwait Export crude.
The LOOP Sour blend in January had an average API gravity of 30.5 degrees and sulfur content of 2.5%. Its minimum-maximum API gravity range was 29.7-31.2 degrees, while sulfur ranged from 1.92%-3%.
API and sulfur are two of many characteristics refiners look at when deciding which crudes to run to maximize or minimize production of particular refined products. Other factors include acidity, metals content, presence of asphaltenes and, ultimately, a distillation curve.
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