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Middle East Crude-Benchmarks fall after Saudi cut OSPs

Hellenic Shipping News 2018-12-06 00:00:00

Saudi Aramco has cut the January official selling price for Arab Light crude to Asia by $1 to 60 cents a barrel above the average Oman-Dubai quotes, a document reviewed by Reuters showed.

The OSP is the lowest since November 2017, data compiled by Reuters showed.

Traders said the price cut tracked an average 95-cents-a-barrel drop in the change for Platts Dubai and DME Oman market structures.

Aramco also cut the January OSP for Arab Extra Light by $1.50, taking into account weak naphtha cracks.

Price cuts for heavier grades were less severe because of strong fuel oil cracks.

The January OSP for Arab Medium and Arab Heavy fell by 75 cents and 40 cents respectively.

Some buyers were pleasantly surprised by the price cuts, which were at the lower end of forecasts seen in a Reuters survey on Monday.

QATAR: Qatar cut the OSPs for Marine and Land crude for November to $65.90 and $66.95 a barrel, respectively. The OSP premium to Dubai quotes for Qatar Marine fell by 17 cents to 34 cents while that for Land crude was down 47 cents to $1.39 a barrel.

While the price cuts were in line with last month’s spot trades, traders said the reductions were not deep enough for the Qatari grades to compete with Saudi oil and hence they could trade in discounts for February-loading cargoes.

ARBITRAGE: Chinese oil trader Unipec plans to resume U.S. crude shipments to China by March after the Xi-Trump deal at the G20 meeting reduced the risk of tariffs being imposed on these imports, three sources with knowledge of the matter said.

The sources told Reuters that Unipec – the trading arm of state refiner Sinopec – is looking to import U.S. oil by March 1, which marks the end of a 90-day negotiating period agreed by the leaders of the world’s two biggest economies.

ASIA-PACIFIC CRUDE: Indonesia has set the official Indonesia Crude Price for Minas crude oil at $63.93 a barrel for November, down $14.16 from the previous month and the lowest since March, a document from the Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resources showed.

The November Minas alpha, or price difference to dated Brent, was set at minus $0.81 per barrel, up $2.25 from a month ago, the document showed.

Four cargoes of Australia’s North West Shelf (NWS) condensate are scheduled to load in February, steady from the previous month, a preliminary loading programme showed. Seller Grade Volume Loading date BP NWS cond 650KB Jan 30-Feb 3 BHP NWS cond 650KB Feb 7-11 Chevron NWS cond 650KB Feb 15-19 Shell NWS cond 650KB Feb 21-25

TENDERS: Pertamina issued its monthly tender to buy condensate. It has approved Wheatstone as a deliverable grade to its TPPI splitter, a trade source said.

NEWS

Saudi Arabian crude supply in November rose to 11.3 million barrels per day, a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

OPEC and its allies are working towards a deal this week to reduce oil output by at least 1.3 million barrels per day, four sources said, adding that Russia’s resistance to a major cut was so far the main stumbling block.

Exxon Mobil and Chevron are seeking to sell their stakes in Azerbaijan’s largest oilfield, marking the retreat of the U.S. majors from the former Soviet state after 25 years as they re-focus on domestic production.

Indian Oil Corp (IOC) has issued a global tender to charter scrubber-fitted oil tankers for at least five years to import Iraqi oil, a tender document seen by Reuters showed.

Argentina’s state-controlled energy company YPF and Malaysia’s Petronas are forming a joint venture to invest $2.3 billion over the next four years in the country’s Vaca Muerta shale oil fields, the president’s office announced on Tuesday.

Glencore’s head of oil in Singapore, Chin Thean Quek, has become the new director of the company’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) division after veteran Mark Catton retired at the end of October, sources familiar with the matter said.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)