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Asia pushed past the rest of the world last year to become the biggest buyer of America’s crude oil — and it’s poised to do it again in 2018. Just two years after Washington ended its crude-export ban, the continent soaked up 37 per cent of the oil the US sent abroad in 2017, up from about 9 per cent in 2016, US Census Bureau data show. And Asia’s appetite for US supply is only expected to grow.
China, which became the world’s largest crude importer last year, took in Asia’s largest share of US oil. Its government-owned refineries are adding half a million barrels a day of capacity in 2018, and independent refiners, known as teapots, are also expanding, said Elisabeth Murphy, an analyst with Wakefield, Massachusetts-based ESAI Energy.