Publications: Notes at the Margin

The Atlantic Divide and Distorted Trade Patterns (July 6, 2015)


The Atlantic is awash with oil. As evidence, several tankers holding North Sea crude have not left the North Sea. (On Friday, though, one cargo of two million barrels of Forties was reportedly headed for Korea.) Another tanker cargo loaded by Shell on June 10 is sitting in a Scottish estuary waiting for someone to purchase it.


At the same time, increased volumes of Nigerian crude are moving to Europe. A number of tankers loaded with the oil are headed there, apparently without buyers. One can imagine the crews on tankers carrying Nigerian crude waving to those on Asia-bound ships loaded with North Sea crude as they pass. One might ask, though, why Nigerian crude is moving to Europe instead of Asia and why European refiners are not buying their own crude. This issue of Notes at the Margin offers an answer to this question.


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