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Wilmoth: Tanker finds no taker in U.S. for foreign oil

A foreign oil tanker was turned away from an American port in January, apparently because domestic production increases made the shipment unnecessary. Domestic producers hope the story will become more common.
by Adam Wilmoth Modified: April 18, 2013 at 7:28 pm •  Published: April 19, 2013

The tight oil boom over the past seven years has begun to rapidly change the country's oil trends.

The United States still imports about 45 percent of its total oil use, but that number is down from 60 percent in 2005.

While we're still dependent on international sources for 45 percent of our oil, January's Chinese oil export illustrates how much things have changed.

Loading 11 million gallons of oil onto a ship and sailing it halfway around the world is not a thrifty prospect. But apparently when the tanker reached American soil earlier this year, it couldn't find a market — a scenario that would not have happened just a few years ago.

It seems there was too much oil from North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas and other parts of the country to make that particular shipment of oil needed.

So the tanker backed up, turned around and headed to China instead.

If the country's oil producers have their way, this kind of story will become much more common.

by Adam Wilmoth
Energy Editor
Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years as a business reporter at The Oklahoman, including five years covering the state's energy sector....
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