SINGAPORE- Middle East crude benchmarks Oman, Dubai and Murban extended gains on Monday to touch fresh two-month highs, ahead of the trading of March-loading cargoes which is expected to pick up pace this week.
Spot premiums to Dubai swaps for both Oman and Dubai were about $2.60 a barrel on Monday, while that for IFAD Murban was just 1 cent shy of $4.
A handful of cargoes that moved last week have been sold at higher levels than the previous month.
Abu Dhabi's Das crude for March-loading has been sold to buyers in India and Thailand at premiums of around $3.30-$3.40 a barrel to Dubai quotes, traders said.
Occidental may have sold a March-loading Oman crude to Nayara Energy at about $2 a barrel to Dubai quotes, they added.
This week, traders are focused on sell tenders from Qatar and Russia, and also buy tenders from refiners Rongsheng Petrochemical and IRPC. (see table below)
Russian ESPO crude premiums are likely to jump above $4 a barrel in line with gains for Middle East and Russian spot grades, sources said.
Indian state refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp will lift 45% more oil from Iraq this year to meet its expanded refining capacity, sources familiar with the matter said.
The refiner will buy 3.2 million tonnes or about 64,000 barrels per day (bpd) from Iraq this year, up from 44,000 bpd in 2021, they said.
China's refinery output hit a record in 2021, up 4.3% from 2020, on robust first-half fuel demand and as refiners ramped up processing to fill a supply gap after a hefty new tax closed loopholes in blending fuel imports.
Exxon Mobil Corp plans to shut the second-largest crude distillation unit (CDU) at its 560,500 barrel-per-day (bpd) Baytown, Texas, refinery by late next week, sources familiar with plant operations said on Friday.
Frantic oil buying driven by supply outages and signs the Omicron variant won't be as disruptive as feared has pushed some crude grades to multi-year highs, suggesting the rally in Brent futures could be sustained a while longer, traders said.
The government of Alberta, Canada's main oil-producing province, plans to move forward "very, very quickly" on its next carbon sequestration hub in the Cold Lake region that will serve oil sands producers, Energy Minister Sonya Savage told Reuters.
PetroChina International Singapore Pte Ltd climbed three spots to be the top marine fuel supplier in the world's biggest ship refuelling hub in 2021 while the overall number of licensed suppliers fell by four to 41, official data showed on Monday.
Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Monday that it was up to the United States whether or not it would release more supply from strategic petroleum reserves.
(Reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu) ((Florence.Tan@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org))