Mars and Poseidon are coming to Asia.
That is, those two varieties of U.S.-produced crude oil are spearheading American exporters' direct challenge to OPEC for market share in Asia.
In a shakeup to the established order, U.S. crude oil exporters are moving more cargoes toward high-growth Asia as they capitalize on favorable price differentials and as supply curbs by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries force Gulf producers to withdraw from their traditional demand heartland.
That's good news for Asian buyers who benefit from a more diversified basket of crude oil on offer and as competition between suppliers drives down prices.
"See it as a bigger buffet table for Asian refiners who have more supply options and sellers to engage with," said John Driscoll, director of JTD Energy Services in Singapore and a former oil trader whose career spans nearly 40 years.
India received its first American oil cargo of 1.6 million barrels on Oct. 2, the result of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the U.S. in June where he negotiated contracts to supply three Indian refineries with nearly 8 million barrels.