According to Platts data, the difference between US and Chinese crude oil imports is now 3 million barrels per day. This figure has fallen by half, from 6 million b/d, over the past year.
"We are seeing major shifts, with large oil companies such as Saudi Aramco exiting the US crude oil markets," says Montepeque.
This prediction threatens to redraw global crude imports trends sooner than many are expecting.
The US is the world's largest net importer of crude oil, with Japan in second place.