President Donald Trump has claimed that the United States no longer needs Middle Eastern oil, but according to a Bloomberg report American refineries still use the kind of oil the Middle East region produces.
"We are now the number-one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world. We are independent, and we do not need Middle East oil," Trump said in a statement issued on Wednesday from the White House, in the wake of Iranís retaliatory missile strike against US military bases in Iraq.
The United States has reduced oil shipments from the Persian Gulf due to booming shale production, but it still imports more than 10% crude from the Middle East, Bloomberg reported.
US companies still rely on Middle East crude despite the fact that new oil production records are being set in Americaís Permian Basin.
Before the record shale oil production boom, US Gulf coast refiners invested millions of dollars to process relatively cheap heavy oil from the Middle East and Latin America. Shale oil is also much lighter and lower in sulfur compared with supply from the Persian Gulf, and not ideal for most American refineries.
Due to US sanctions on Iran, Venezuela, and declining Mexican production and Canadian logistical constraints, sources of heavy crude supplies are limited. American buyers are still dependent on other Persian Gulf producers.