Middle East Crude-Benchmarks dip; spot trading picks up

Middle East crude benchmarks Oman and Dubai fell slightly on Thursday

  

SINGAPORE- Middle East crude benchmarks Oman and Dubai fell slightly on Thursday, after hitting their highest levels since July in the last session, while trading activity in Asia's physical market picked up amid firm market sentiment and demand from India.

Indian refiner MRPL has issued a second spot tender to seek 1 million-2 million barrels of sour crude for imports during Jan. 1-5. The tender will close on Nov. 16 with bids valid till Nov. 17.

India's IOC is closing two buy tenders, one for crude loading in mid-December and another in mid-January, on Thursday.

December-loading Iraqi Basra Light crude was heard to be traded at a premium of around $1.2 to its official selling price (OSP), traders said. The details remain sketchy and the trade could not be independently verified.

ASIA-PACIFIC CRUDE:

Vietnam's PV Oil has offered a Ruby crude cargo, loading over Jan. 21-28, via a spot tender closing on Friday with bids valid till Nov. 20.

PV Oil on Tuesday closed a tender selling a Chim Sao crude cargo, loading on Jan. 15-19, with bids valid till Friday.

Malaysia's Kimanis crude exports will be nine cargoes in January, two sources said.

Indonesia's Pertamina has cancelled a spot swap tender for crude imports in January in exchange with its own Banyu Urip crude.

Pertamina has issued a term tender selling Banyu Urip crude loading between January to June next year. The tender was closed on Thursday with bids valid till Nov. 20.

Two cargoes of Papua New Guinea's Kutubu crude are scheduled to load during Jan. 13-17 and Jan. 30-Feb. 3. Exxon Mobil and Oil Search will each market one cargo.

REFINERY

Exxon Mobil Corp said on Thursday it remains committed to expanding its refining-petrochemical complex in Singapore amid an ongoing review of its projects globally. 

Japanese oil firm Cosmo Energy Holdings plans to boost the run rate of its refineries to 94% in the October-March period of its financial year from 76.4% in the first half from April to September, its executive said on Thursday. 

NEWS

Global oil demand is unlikely to get a significant boost from the roll-out of vaccines against COVID-19 until well into 2021, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday, a view that is likely to dampen oil price gains since vaccine progress was announced earlier this week. 

OPEC+ could extend the group's current oil production cuts into 2021 or deepen them further if market conditions require, Algeria's energy minister told an industry event on Wednesday. 

An Iranian official said on Wednesday that Tehran exported up to 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil since March, but was later quoted by an Iranian news agency casting doubt on the figure which had been kept secret as the country fights U.S. sanctions. 

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

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