SINGAPORE- Middle East crude benchmarks eased on Wednesday despite spot premiums for Qatari grades rebounding to two-month highs.
China's Rongsheng Petrochemical has bought 2 million barrels of Basra Medium crude from Sinochem via a tender, trade sources said.
The cargo is for delivery at the end of March to early April, they said. The price was not immediately known.
Thailand's IRPC has bought a cargo each of March-loading Murban and Qatar Marine crude from its tender, traders said. Details on sellers and prices were not immediately available.
Qatar Energy has sold three al-Shaheen crude cargoes for March-loading at the highest premiums in two months, in line with the rebound seen for Middle East grades this month, trade sources said. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2TZ05T
The producer sold the cargoes at an average premium of $2.67 a barrel to Dubai quotes and set the term price at a premium of $2.78 a barrel, they said, more than $1 a barrel higher than levels seen in the previous month.
Buyers were likely Japan's Eneos and India's Reliance Industries Ltd, the traders said.
Qatar Energy has also sold a March-loading Qatar Marine crude in a tender to a Japanese end user at a premium of $2-$2.30 a barrel to Dubai quotes, traders said.
Russia's Surgutneftegaz has sold three 100,000-tonne cargoes of ESPO Blend crude loading March 6-13, March 10-17 and March 14-21 from Far East Kozmino port in a spot tender, traders said.
The cargoes were sold at a premium of $4.85-$5.05 to March Dubai swaps, in line and slightly above premiums achieved in a tender on Monday, traders said.
Glencore, Gunvor and Equinor were the buyers, traders said.
Surgutneftegaz issued a spot tender to sell three more cargoes loading from Kozmino over March 17-24, March 21-28 and March 24-31. The tender closes on Jan. 19 at 1400 Moscow time (1100 GMT).
Turkey's state pipeline operator said on Wednesday a fire at the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline that halted oil flow was extinguished and that crude flow would resume within one hour.
Oil's rally may extend further in the next few months due to recovering demand and limited capacity in OPEC+ to add supply and prices could break $100 a barrel, OPEC officials have told Reuters.
The largest U.S. shale basin's output will surge to a record in February, according to a monthly forecast from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Tuesday.
Exxon Mobil Corp on Tuesday pledged to cut to zero its net carbon emissions from its global operations by 2050, a step in the direction of rivals minimizing their carbon footprints.
U.S. crude oil inventories were seen down for the eighth week in a row, while gasoline inventories were expected to have risen last week, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel) ((Florence.Tan@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org))