Middle East Crude-Benchmarks fall; Saudi may cut or maintain Asia OSPs in Dec

Weak margins remain a major concern for Asian refiners

  

SINGAPORE- Middle East crude benchmarks Oman and Dubai fell on Thursday, tracking a drop in global oil futures O/R , as activities slowed with the December trading cycle approaching its end.

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia may maintain or cut slightly its crude official selling prices (OSPs) for Asian buyers in December after benchmark Dubai prices and refining margins weakened, a Reuters survey showed. 

Three of six Asian buyers expect the December OSP for Saudi flagship grade Arab Light to fall by 10-20 cents a barrel from the previous month, while two others expected prices to hold steady, the survey showed.

Weak margins remain a major concern for Asian refiners as cracks for gasoline and naphtha softened from last month.

REFINERY

Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical Corp is aiming to raise throughput at its its Mailiao refinery to about 62% of its 540,000 barrels per day (bpd) capacity next month, up from less than 50% this month, its spokesman said on Thursday. 

Indian refiners have turned their focus to raising production of petrochemicals to cater for rising demand and help hedge against lower refined fuel margins, the country's oil secretary and company officials said on Wednesday.

NEWS

U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose last week as production surged, posting its largest one-week increase ever, while gasoline and distillate inventories fell, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2HJ1LV

Norway's Equinor wrote off $2.93 billion from the value of its assets after cutting its long-term oil and gas price forecasts on Thursday, betting the pandemic and a shift away from fossil fuels will have a lasting impact on markets. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2HK0ZF

(Reporting By Shu Zhang; Editing by Rashmi Aich) ((shu.zhang@thomsonreuters.com; +65-6870-3549; Reuters Messaging: Twitter @shuzhang4))

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