Middle East Crude-Benchmarks ease; Surgut sells more ESPO

Middle East crude benchmarks Oman and Dubai eased on Wednesday


SINGAPORE- Middle East crude benchmarks Oman and Dubai eased on Wednesday, along with Murban, as trading gradually winds down for December-loading cargoes.

Taiwanese refiner CPC may have bought Upper Zakum crude in a tender for December loading, traders said, although there were no further details.

CPC has also issued its monthly sweet crude tender for January arrival.

Russian ESPO crude premiums eased from near two-year highs after Surgutneftegaz sold its remaining four cargoes loading in December in its third tender.

The premiums for the four cargoes in a tender awarded late on Tuesday were in the range of $5 and about $5.70 a barrel to Dubai quotes, they said. Three of the cargoes were sold at premiums of $5.50 and above while the end-month cargo fetched a premium of $5 because of the Dubai market structure which values prompt cargoes at higher levels, the sources said.

ChemChina bought two cargoes while Vitol and Mitsui purchased one each, the sources said.

The cargoes are for loading on Dec. 16-23, 20-27, 23-30 and 26-31.


Oil refiners are ramping up output to meet a synchronised uptick in demand across Asia, Europe and the United States, but plant maintenance and high natural gas prices will constrain supply in the fourth quarter, company officials and analysts said. 

Asia's crude runs are expected to reach 29.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in the fourth quarter, versus 29.1 million bpd a year ago and 30.3 million bpd over October-December in 2019, FGE analyst Sri Paravaikkarasu said.

Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical Corp, one of Asia's top fuel exporters, said it plans to process 400,000 bpd in November, up from 370,000-380,000 bpd in October.

That is expected to rise to 460,000 bpd, or 79% of Formosa's capacity, in December and January 2022, spokesman KY Lin said.

In South Korea, a major refiner plans to boost output in the fourth quarter by about 5% versus the third quarter, a source familiar with the matter said, declining to name the company.


Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, kept its ranking as China's top crude supplier for a 10th month in September, increasing its volumes by 2% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Wednesday. 

Union workers at Exxon Mobil Corp's Beaumont, Texas, oil refinery overwhelmingly rejected the company's six-year labor contract on Tuesday, extending a lengthy standoff over job assignments. 

China's commodities markets slumped on Wednesday, led by sharp declines in thermal coal prices, after the state planner said it was looking at ways to intervene to cool record high prices of the fuel. 

India is forming a group that brings together state-run and private refiners to seek better crude import deals, oil secretary Tarun Kapoor said on Tuesday, as the country grapples with soaring oil prices. 

Major economies will produce more than double the amount of coal, oil and gas in 2030 than is consistent with meeting climate goals set in the 2015 Paris accord to curb global warming, the United Nations and researchers said on Wednesday. 

China's exports of very low-sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO), mainly as clean marine bunker fuel, rose in September by 16% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Wednesday. 

(Reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri) ((Florence.Tan@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: florence.tan.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

More From Commodities