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Lisa Viscidi and Ramón Espinasa: Report
on Latin American crude oil exports
and the battle for market share ?

 


"By 2040, two out of every three barrels of crude oil traded internationally will be destined for Asia, up from less than one in two today, according to the International Energy Agency."

 

Facing growing competition for a shrinking US market, Latin American crude oil producers are being forced to seek new export markets. As Asian energy demand continues to grow, crude oil flows from Latin America are increasingly moving east rather than north. However, tapping markets outside of the United States also brings a new set of challenges.

Will these trends continue? The answer depends on whether Latin American countries maintain their links with the US market and whether political and economic ties with Asia continue to grow, according to a new report by Lisa Viscidi, Director of the Energy, Climate Change and Extractive Industries Program at the Inter-American Dialogue and Ramón Espinasa, Lead Oil and Gas Specialist at the Inter-American Development Bank.

Venezuela has longstanding links to the US oil market. Sales to the United States provide an important source of US dollars for Venezuela's ailing economy. However, the relationship between the two countries has deteriorated, which partly accounts for Venezuela's efforts to diversify its exports. Mexico is also closely linked to the US market through long-term supply contracts and established infrastructure. As the country's energy reform brings fresh investment from international oil companies, new trade arrangements may appear.

According to the report, Latin America's political and economic ties with Asia will have an important impact on crude oil trade between the two regions. Chinese and Indian companies have continued to increase their investments in Latin America's oil and gas industry. They view the decline in oil prices as an opportunity to snatch up undervalued assets through mergers and acquisitions. If China and India continue to expand financing and investment in Latin America, the report suggests, crude oil trade will lik ely increase in spite of the short-term decline in Asian oil demand growth, infrastructure bottlenecks, and competition from other regions.

Click here to access the report.

 

Lisa Viscidi is Director of the Energy, Climate Change and Extractive Industries Program at the Inter-American Dialogue. She is a specialist in Latin American energy with ten years of experience in research, analysis and business development in oil and gas, mining and clean energy. Ramon Espinasa, Phd in Energy Economics from University of Cambridge. Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University; Lead oil & gas specialist-Interamerican Bank. Espinasa had a 20 years career at PDVSA, leaving has PDVSA Chief Economist. Petroleumworld does not necessarily share these views.

Editor's Note: This commentary was published by Inter-American Dialogue , on June, 2015. (At the time of publication James Saft did not own any direct investments in securities mentioned in this article. He may be an owner indirectly as an investor in a fund. You can email him at jamessaft@jamessaft.com and find more columns at blogs.reuters.com/james-saft ) (Editing by James Dalgleish ) . Petroleumworld reprint this article in the interest of our readers.

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WGC Paris, June, 2015

 


 

 


11-12 June 2015 ,
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