US refiners Valero Energy Corp, Marathon Petroleum Corp and Shell are rushing to secure Ecuadorian barrels after America banned imports of Russian crude.
Ecuador’s state oil company EP Petroecuador held meetings with several refiners and trading houses, according to Petroecuador’s oil trading manager, Pablo Noboa, Bloomberg reported.
Fuelmakers and trading companies are seeking to plug a supply gap in an already tight market, sparking a hunt to replace the Russian barrels.
The ban on Russian oil includes straight-run fuel oil, a feedstock used to replace heavy crude that’s similar to what Ecuador produces.
“US refiners and traders are eager to sign mid- and long-term supply contracts after Russia invaded Ukraine,” Noboa said. “When oil in the global market is scarce, it makes sense to try to secure a steady supply.”
Marathon, the largest US fuelmaker, is seeking 11 to 22 cargoes of Ecuadorian heavy sour oil over 11 months, starting as soon as June.
Jamaica’s state-owned oil company Petrojam Ltd is looking for a similar arrangement for 11 cargoes and Shell Western is seeking to extend an existing three-year supply contract that expires in December 2023.
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