Preliminary data for the first two months of 2017 show US crude exports this year could well eclipse last year’s record of 520,000 b/d (MEES, 23 December 2016). According to weekly data from the US government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) the US exported 632,000 b/d in January and 934,000 b/d during the first 24 days of February.

A 40-year ban on seaborne crude exports was rescinded in 2015, with volumes almost quadrupling last year from 2013, when the US exported...