Middle East Crude-Benchmarks rise; IOC seeks crude

Middle East crude benchmarks Oman and Dubai strengthened slightly on Thursday


SINGAPORE- Middle East crude benchmarks Oman and Dubai strengthened slightly on Thursday as more Asia-buying interests emerged, while demand concerns lingered.

India's IOC closed two spot tenders to buy sweet and sour crude with bids valid till later on Thursday.

The results of Pertamina's crude purchase tenders, closed earlier this week, were not yet clear.

Asia's term buyers have nominated their February-loading volume for Saudi crude, while the allocation results are expected to emerge in a couple of days.

The overhang of unsold cargoes from last month, such as ADNOC grades and Oman crude, will weigh on the physical market this month, two trading sources said.

For Asia-Pacific crude, Vietnam's PV Oil offered 6,700 barrels per day (bpd) of Rang Dong crude for loading over April-September via a term tender to be closed on Jan. 12 with bids valid till Jan. 26.

Indonesia has set the official Indonesia Crude Price (ICP) for Minas crude oil at $49.47 a barrel for December, up $6.67 from the previous month, a pricing document seen by Reuters showed on Thursday. 


OPEC oil output rose for a sixth month in December, a Reuters survey found, buoyed by further recovery in Libyan production and smaller rises elsewhere in the group. 

Nigeria's state oil firm NNPC is in talks to raise around $1 billion in a prepayment with trading firms to refurbish its largest refining complex at Port Harcourt, seven sources familiar with the discussions said. 

Exxon Mobil Corp, under increasing pressure from investors and climate change activists, reported for the first time the emissions that result when customers use its products such as gasoline and jet fuel. 

UBS raised its forecast for Brent oil prices to $60 per barrel by mid-year, following Saudi Arabia's surprise unilateral production cut and expectations of a sharp recovery in demand in the second quarter on vaccine rollouts and increased travel. 

Indonesia aims to increase overall energy investments by nearly 50% this year to $36.4 billion after the sector was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, energy and mineral resources minister Arifin Tasrif said on Thursday. 

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

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