中国石化新闻网讯 据11月11日Hydrocarbon Processing报道称，贸易和分析人士认为，美国利用全球高硫含量燃料的创纪录低价时期，购买大量的高硫含量燃料，并打算在IMO2020低硫令生效前将其升级为更清洁的产品。
金融服务公司Morningstar能源分析师桑迪•菲尔登（Sandy Fielden）表示，随着高硫燃料油价格在IMO 2020生效之前下降，进口量的增加可能与美国炼油企业希望将燃料油直接运至炼焦厂进行升级有关。
邹勤 摘译自 Hydrocarbon Processing
U.S. scoops up overseas fuel oil in pre-IMO push
The United States is taking advantage of record-low prices of one of the world’s dirtiest fuels by buying record volumes, which it intends to upgrade into cleaner products before new shipping rules take effect, trading and analyst sources say.
U.S. trade sources said it recently had become economical to ship fuel oil from countries such as Russia, boosting imports of the product into the United States.
This comes even as prices for high-sulfur fuel oil (HSFO) on the U.S. Gulf Coast trend lower while demand for high-sulfur fuels sags globally.
Fuel oil in the region traded at $41.56 per barrel on Nov. 6, a three-year seasonal low.
Fuel oil prices in Europe have also fallen to record lows, which has helped make exports to the United States economical.
According to data from oil analytics firm Vortexa, U.S. imports of fuel oil from Russia and former Soviet Union (FSU) countries surged to at least a multi-year high of 1.35 million tonnes in October, and they are expected to hold firm at similar levels in November.
“The broader rise in FSU-U.S. flows since the beginning of this year has therefore helped to offset the impact of the collapse in Venezuelan fuel oil imports in the wake of U.S.-led sanctions,” Vortexa said.
Vortexa separately noted that the United States had received fuel oil from Jordan at the end of October, with another tanker set to arrive around the end of November. The route from Jordan to the United States is unusual, Vortexa said.
New regulations on marine fuel by the International Maritime Organization that take effect on Jan. 1 will restrict sulfur content in shipping fuels to a maximum 0.5%, from 3.5% now.
Complex U.S. refiners have long been expected to benefit from the new regulations because they have greater capability to break down cheaper, heavy crudes into higher-margin, compliant products.
They have vacuum distillation capacity to break down straight-run fuel oil, which comes directly from a crude unit, as well as coking capacity, which upgrades cracked fuel oil, a by-product from complex refining methods.
The increased imports may be related to U.S. refiners looking to run fuel oil directly to their cokers as the price of high-sulfur fuel oil declines ahead of IMO 2020, said Sandy Fielden, energy analyst at financial services firm Morningstar.