Less foreign oil is reaching American shores, as OPEC production cuts kick in and U.S. sanctions on Venezuela curb its exports.
Crude shipments to the U.S. from OPEC and its partners fell to 1.41 million barrels a day in January, the lowest in five years, according to data from cargo-tracking and intelligence company Kpler. Shrinking Iraqi imports and deep output cuts by Saudi Arabia fueled the decline.
At the same time, Venezuela’s exports to the U.S. dropped by nearly 30 percent. The kicker: Nearly half of it has yet to discharge into U.S. ports and U.S. sanctions may keep the rest of it on the water. Nearly 7.6 million barrels of Venezuelan crude is floating in the Gulf of Mexico, according to Kpler.