Middle East Crude-Benchmarks slip; Saudi raises crude prices to Asia

Middle East crude benchmarks slipped on Monday ahead of more supply expected

  

SINGAPORE- Middle East crude benchmarks slipped on Monday ahead of more supply expected but losses were kept in check after Saudi Arabia raised official selling prices (OSPs) for January.

State oil producer Saudi Aramco raised OSPs for all crude grades sold to key market Asia for a second straight month in January, tracking robust gains in Middle East spot market last month. 

The price hikes, announced by the company on Sunday, were implemented despite a decision last week by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies including Russia, a group known as OPEC+, to continue increasing monthly supplies by 400,000 barrels per day in January.

The January OSP to Asia for its flagship Arab Light crude to $3.30 a barrel versus Oman/Dubai crude, up $0.60 from December, the company said. The January differential is the highest in nearly two years, according to Reuters data.

Indonesia has set the official Indonesia Crude Price (ICP) for Minas crude oil at $80.15 a barrel for November, up $7.90 from the previous month, a document from the Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resources showed. 

The November Minas alpha, or price difference to dated Brent, was set at minus $1.29 per barrel, up $1.04 from a month prior, the document showed.

In tenders, India's Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) bought 1 million barrels of Pazflor crude for January while Vietnam's PV Oil is seeking 80,000 barrels of Nam Con Son condensate for February delivery, sources said.

NEWS

- The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will continue with its supply adjustments for the oil market, the OPEC Secretary General said on Saturday. 

- U.S. energy firms this week maintained the number of oil and natural gas rigs with oil prices on track to fall for a sixth week in a row.

- The World Petroleum Congress kicks off this week with a sharply trimmed roster of energy executives and government ministers to grapple with the oil market's future as the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant disrupted travel. 

(Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan; editing by Jason Neely) ((Jessica.Jaganathan@thomsonreuters.com; +65 6870 3822; Reuters Messaging: jessica.jaganathan.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net; Twitter: https://twitter.com/j3ssi3))


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