Middle East Crude-Benchmarks mixed; EFS widens to 17-month high

Middle East crude benchmarks Oman and Dubai were little changed on Tuesday

  

SINGAPORE- Middle East crude benchmarks Oman and Dubai were little changed on Tuesday, while spot premiums for June-loading Russian ESPO Blend crude slightly softened.

Gazprom Neft awarded an ESPO Blend crude cargo, loading June 1-14, at around $2.1 a barrel above Dubai quotes via a spot tender, traders said. 

Brent's premium to Dubai swaps, a spread for oil traders to gauge the relative price strength of sweet and sour crude, widened by 33 cents to $3.38 a barrel, the biggest since Nov. 19, 2019, Refinitiv Eikon data showed. DUB-EFS-1M

Chinese refiner Hongrun bought Johan Sverdrup crude at around 70-90 cents a barrel above ICE Brent for July delivery, traders said.

Taiwan's CPC closed a tender seeking June-loading sour crude, with bids valid till Thursday.

REFINERY

Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical Corp plans to ramp up operating rates at its refinery in May to 74% once it restarts a gasoline-making unit after maintenance and as refining margins have improved, the company's spokesman said. 

PTT Global Chemical PCL said on Tuesday it had resumed normal operations at its petrochemical units following an outage last week. 

NEWS

Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports fell to their lowest in eight months in February, the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI) said on Monday, as the world's biggest oil exporter voluntarily capped output to support oil prices. 

China's crude oil imports from top supplier Saudi Arabia rose 8.8% in March from a year earlier, driven by strong demand and as shipments delayed due to a port congestion finally arrived. 

Police in China's southern Guangdong province have detained several people, including two senior staff of a BP Plc joint venture, in connection with an investigation into suspected illicit fuel trading, three people said. 

Libya's National Oil Corp (NOC) declared force majeure on Monday on exports from the port of Hariga and said it could extend the measure to other facilities due to a budget dispute with the country's central bank. 

Global CO2 emissions from energy are seen rising nearly 5% this year, suggesting the economic rebound from COVID-19 could be "anything but sustainable" for the climate, the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday. 

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


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