Middle East Crude-Benchmarks mixed; Malaysian, Vietnamese grades fall

Middle East crude benchmarks Oman and Dubai were mixed on Thursday

  

SINGAPORE- Middle East crude benchmarks Oman and Dubai were mixed on Thursday as the front-month October trading cycle approached its end.

ASIA-PACIFIC CRUDE:

Differentials for October-loading crude from Malaysia and Vietnam against dated Brent have fallen more than $3 a barrel compared with trades for September cargoes last month, traders said. 

Malaysia's Labuan crude for October-loading has lately been valued at a discount narrower than $1 a barrel to dated Brent, down from a premium of more than $2 a barrel in transactions earlier this month, traders said. Last month, September-loading Labuan sold at premiums of about $4 a barrel.

Kimanis, another Malaysian export grade, traded at a premium of 30 cents in a ConocoPhillips sales tender this week, compared with premiums of more than $3.50 a barrel last month, traders said.

October-loading Vietnamese grades Thang Long and Ruby crude also weakened to spot discounts in sale tenders held by PV Oil, from premiums of above $3.50 a barrel for a range of September-loading Vietnamese crude grades seen last month, they said.

REFINERY

Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical, a refining subsidiary of Asia's top refiner Sinopec, plans to process 7.68 million tonnes of crude oil in the second half of 2020, a company official said at a briefing on Thursday. 

PetroChina Co fell to a first-half net loss of 29.98 billion yuan ($4.36 billion), Asia's largest oil and gas producer reported on Thursday, reflecting a fall in oil prices and lower demand due to the coronavirus crisis. 

NEWS

Norwegian oil and gas firm Equinor is set to cut jobs significantly in the United States, Canada and Britain to adjust to a fall in oil prices, a company spokesman said on Wednesday. 

U.S. crude oil stockpiles fell last week as exports soared the most in 18 months and refineries boosted production to the highest rate since March before the worst of the demand hit from the coronavirus pandemic, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday. 

Citadel, one of the world's largest hedge fund managers, said it had hired a former Glencore energy derivatives trader to head its first commodities trading team in Asia. 

Indian state refiners have stopped buying crude oil from China-linked companies, three sources said, after New Delhi's recent regulation aimed at restricting imports from countries that it shares a border with. 

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

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