After President Biden banned Russian oil imports over the invasion of Ukraine, U.S. refiners have turned to Middle Eastern producers for fuel oil cargoes. Last year, Russia accounted for just under half of the U.S. fuel oil imports, while the Middle East only provided about 5%. Middle East supplies are set to make up at least 17% of April U.S. fuel oil purchases, according to preliminary Refinitiv Eikon tanker tracking data. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates make up roughly half of all fuel oil cargoes under contract and are expected to head to the United States in April. Iraqi fuel oil arrived in the U.S. this March, for the first time since mid-2021.
- U.S. refiners turn to Middle East for fuel oil after Russia import ban