Los Angeles fuel oil bunker availability set to ease
New York, 28 November (Argus) — Heavy bunker fuel availability in Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, which has been tight for the last several weeks, is expected to ease by mid-December. Three oil tankers were put on subjects to load 50,000t each of residual fuel oil on Mexico's west coast and discharge in the US west coast.
The Theo T will load today, SCF Pearl will load on 1 December and Cape Talara will load on 3 December. The fuel will likely be sold for bunkering in Los Angeles and Long Beach.
Los Angeles and Long Beach combined heavy bunker fuel and MGO sales dropped by 4pc to 15.44mn bl in the first nine months of the year, compared with 16.17mn bl during the same period last year. Los Angeles sold 11.71mn bl of bunkers from January through September and Long Beach sold 3.72mn bl, according to data from the Port of Los Angeles. The decline in bunker sales could be attributed to several outages this year at the 330,000 b/d Salina Cruz refinery, on Mexico's Pacific coast. The refinery historically has been one of the main sources of residual fuel oil sold in Los Angeles and Long Beach. Operations at Salina Cruz have not exceeded 50pc of capacity since mid-June.
US Energy Information Administration data showed Mexican residual fuel oil imported into Los Angeles and Long Beach in the first eight months of 2017 dropped to 3.71mn bl, compared with 11.2mn bl during the same period last year. To make up for the loss of Mexican fuel oil barrels, bunker supplier Aegean Marine has been sourcing fuel oil for import to Los Angeles from Canada, Chile, Ecuador and Trinidad and Tobago. Aegean, as well as bunker supplier Chemoil, have also boosted imports from Peru. Peruvian fuel oil imports into Los Angeles reached 2.13mn bl from January through August, compared with 635,000 during the same period in 2016. This year Chemoil also sourced fuel oil for bunkering in Los Angeles and Long Beach from Italy and the Netherlands.