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|06 December, 2018

Middle East Crude-Prices hold steady, ADNOC cuts OSPs

Murban's OSP at a $2.44 a barrel premium to Dubai quotes

SINGAPORE- The Middle East crude market was little changed on Thursday as traders waited for OPEC and Russia to decide whether to reduce production.

UAE: Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) set the November retroactive selling price for its benchmark Murban crude at $68.00 per barrel, ADNOC said. 

That puts Murban's OSP at a $2.44 a barrel premium to Dubai quotes, the lowest premium since September, Reuters calculations showed.

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The price cut was in line with market expectations but traders said ADNOC will have to reduce Murban's premium to Dubai quotes for another two months in order to stay competitive against Saudi's Arab Extra Light which was priced at 75 cents a barrel above Oman-Dubai quotes for January.

"Murban will struggle against Arab Extra Light," a Singapore-based trader said.

Separately, ADNOC priced the November OSP for its new Umm Lulu crude at 15 cents a barrel above that of Das, 5 cents higher than the previous month.

For medium-sour Upper Zakum, ADNOC cut its OSP premium to Dubai quotes by 32 cents a barrel, compared with expectations of an about 20 cent reduction.

The cut was also deeper than rival grade Qatar Marine which saw a 17 cent reduction in its OSP's premium to Dubai quotes for November.

ASIA-PACIFIC CRUDE: More loading programmes from Australia emerged. BHP could market a Cossack cargo in February while Woodside has a cargo each of Pluto and Wheatstone condensate to load in mid-February. Quadrant Energy has a Van Gogh crude cargo loading in mid-February.

REFINERY

Margins at a typical Singapore complex refinery fell to $2.49 a barrel on Thursday, the lowest since August 2014, Refinitiv Eikon data showed. DUB-SIN-REF 

The margins are also the lowest for this time of the year since 2008, the data showed.

NEWS

OPEC and Russia moved closer on Wednesday to agreeing cuts in oil production from next year despite pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to reduce the price of crude. 

Leading global oil traders Vitol, Trafigura and Glencore paid more than $30 million in bribes to employees at state-owned Brazilian company Petrobras in a scheme that may still be going on, prosecutors said on Wednesday. 

Venezuela this month plans to import over 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) of refined products to ease domestic fuel shortages caused by hobbled refineries and need to prioritise exports, according to internal documents seen by Reuters

Alberta's decision to mandate output cuts to reduce a supply glut will have negative effects on North American producers of lighter oil used for blending and U.S. refiners importing crude via rail, even as several major Canadian energy companies cheered the move.

(Reporting by Florence Tan; editing by David Evans) ((Florence.Tan@thomsonreuters.com; +65 6870 3497; Reuters Messaging: florence.tan.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))ight prices 0#C-A ))