Middle East Crude-Oman diff flips to discount; Russian ESPO weakens

Middle East crude benchmarks Oman and Dubai dropped on Tuesday


SINGAPORE- Middle East crude benchmarks Oman and Dubai dropped on Tuesday, with the Oman differential flipping into a discount for the first time since last October, amid thin trading volumes.

The Brent/Dubai Exchange of Futures for Swaps (EFS) climbed to $3.17 at Singapore market's close, the highest since November 2019, Refinitiv data showed, as Brent extended its rally. 

Spot premium for Russian ESPO crude, a China-focused grade, fell to around $1.5-$1.6 to Dubai quotes after Gazprom Neft sold a cargo loading April 3-13 through a tender. The buyer was said to be Unipec.

Prior to this, April-loading ESPO cargoes were traded in the range of $1.8-$2.2 above Dubai quotes in Surgut's spot tenders.

Taiwanese refiner CPC will skip its sour crude purchase tender this month, traders said.


ConocoPhillips closed a tender selling one Malaysian Kimanis crude cargo, loading April 28-May 2.


India's Reliance Industries Ltd expects to hive off its oil-to-chemicals (O2C) business into a 100% subsidiary in the September quarter, the company said on Tuesday, paving the way for a stake sale in the new company. 

Construction for a crude distillate upgrading project at Indonesia's PT Pertamina's Balongan refinery is underway, the company said on Tuesday, marked by the first piling to set the site's foundations. 


OPEC and U.S. oil companies see a limited rebound in shale oil supply this year as top U.S. producers freeze output despite rising prices, a decision that would help OPEC and its allies. 

Occidental Petroleum Corp, Diamondback Energy Inc and a host of smaller Permian-focused U.S. shale producers on Monday forecast lower oil output in the first quarter, giving the first indications of the hit to the industry caused by last week's winter storm.

(Reporting by Shu Zhang, Editing by Amy Caren Daniel) ((shu.zhang@thomsonreuters.com; +65-6870-3549; Reuters Messaging: Twitter @shuzhang4))

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