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Infected U.S. Shale Oil Is Being Turned Away by Asian Buyers

  • Complex infrastructure web risks contaminating U.S. shipments
  • Two S. Korean refiners have rejected Eagle Ford crude cargoes
A Shale-Oil Boomtown As Oil Bust Proves To Be Good
Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
Updated on

The complex web of U.S. pipelines, tanks and export terminals that’s helped make America the world’s top oil producer is causing a headache for some crude buyers.

As various types of crude pass through the supply chain from inland shale fields spanning Texas to North Dakota, they risk picking up impurities before reaching Asia -- the world’s biggest oil-consuming region. Specifically, refiners are worried about the presence of problematic metals as well as a class of chemical compounds known as oxygenates, which can affect the quality and type of fuel they produce.