Middle East Crude-Benchmarks mixed; Russian ESPO rebounds

Middle East crude benchmarks Oman and Dubai were mixed on Wednesday

  

SINGAPORE- Middle East crude benchmarks Oman and Dubai were mixed on Wednesday as more Asian refinery demand emerged, while spot premiums for Russian ESPO crude, a China-focused grade, slightly recovered.

Surgutneftegaz sold four March-loading cargoes of ESPO crude at spot premiums of around $1.20 a barrel to Dubai quotes via its third spot tender, higher than the level seen a day earlier, traders said. C

Paramount Energy also sold at least one ESPO crude cargo at a similar level, traders said. The trading house had offered four cargoes loading in the second half of March.

Gazprom Neft offered one ESPO crude cargo, loading Mar. 3-13, via a tender to be closed on Thursday.

ONGC on Wednesday closed a tender selling one Russian Sokol cargo, loading Mar. 28-Apr. 3.

China's Rongsheng is seeking March-loading crude via a spot tender to be closed on Thursday.

Taiwan's CPC on Wednesday closed a tender seeking March-loading sour crude.

India's MRPC is seeking one million barrels of sour crude for delivery over Mar. 16-25 via a tender to be closed on Jan. 27 with validity till Jan. 29.

ASIA-PACIFIC CRUDE:

ConocoPhillips sold a cargo of Kikeh crude, loading Mar. 1-5, at around $2.1-$2.2 above dated Brent via a spot tender closed on Friday, traders said.

ConocoPhillips also sold a cargo of Kimanis crude, loading Mar. 18-22, at around $1.8 above dated Brent to a trader a spot tender on Tuesday, traders said.

NEWS

Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, beat Russia to keep its ranking as China's top crude supplier in 2020, Chinese government data showed on Wednesday. 

The United States on Tuesday sanctioned a network of oil trading firms, individuals and vessels that have helped Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA sell crude mainly to Asia despite Washington's sanctions on the South American nation. 

OPEC's secretary general said on Tuesday he was cautiously optimistic the oil market would recover this year from the slump in demand brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2JU1BV

U.S. oil output from major shale formations is expected to decline for the fourth straight month to about 7.52 million barrels per day (bpd) in February, the lowest since June, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a monthly forecast on Tuesday. 

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

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