Tesoro's Los Angeles oil refinery is seen through a fence in Los Angeles, California October 10, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
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For signs of how the U.S. shale boom is transforming the global flow of oil, look halfway across the world at South Korea. The Asian nation, which relies on the Middle East for about 86 percent of its oil imports, is benefiting as new output from Texas to North Dakota displaces the crudes that fed U.S. refineries for decades. South Korea received this month a shipment of Alaskan oil for the first time in at least eight years and may buy more, the importing company said. The U.S. shale revolution has driven oil output to the highest in more than three decades, reducing America's need for overseas purchases and sinking global prices into a bear market. South Korea is seeking to reduce its dependence on Middle East crude just as OPEC's biggest members discount supplies to protect market share and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicts the group is losing influence. South Korea, which imports about 97 percent of the supplies used to satisfy its energy needs, receives more than a third of its oil from Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest crude exporter and the largest member in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
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