Why is the US importing light crude from Russia?

Fuel Fix:
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We’ve recently discussed here how the U.S. still imports crude from Asia, despite sending more barrels in the opposite direction (hark, see next topic after this). The U.S., and particularly the West Coast, is a regular recipient of Russian crude, with 40,000 bpd of Russian crude imported to the U.S. last year. Light sweet Sokol accounted for nearly two thirds of the volume.

This year, there have been a couple of absent months in terms of arrivals, but there has also been a new development: the first delivery of Russian crude to the East Coast since at least 2012. Earlier this month, 686,643 bbls of Urals was delivered to PBF’s Delaware City refinery, and 35,000 bbls delivered to PBF’s Paulsboro refinery.
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While the amounts seem relatively small, it just seems strange that US refiners would import light crude from Russia when there is so much of it available from US producers who are also exporting crude to Europe and other countries.

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