Massive refining outages in the U.S. state of Texas due to freezing weather has led to a flurry of fuel tanker bookings from Europe, while several carriers were diverting away from the U.S. Gulf Coast, traders and analysts said.
The cold snap has halted about one-fifth of the United States’ refining capacity and nearly all oil and natural gas production in west Texas.
Traders were looking to fill the gap in refinery supplies with bookings from elsewhere.
U.S. Atlantic coast imports of diesel and gasoil from other countries was seen at 380,000 barrels per day (bpd) in February, at the same level of a multi-year high reached in November, according to oil analytics firm Vortexa.
The rise is led largely by higher intake from northwest Europe, with 140,000 bpd of imports, a multi-year high, Vortexa said.
Imports on the route are also on track to remain firm in March, with around 2.5 million barrels currently forecast to arrive, Vortexa said.