DUBAI/SINGAPORE - Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) started producing and exporting a new crude grade known as Umm Lulu this month, a company spokesman said on Wednesday.
The new oil will help lift ADNOC's oil exports after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia pledged to increase output to stabilise global oil markets following disruptions in supplies from several producers, including Iran and Venezuela.
The new crude grade is a blend produced from its Umm Lulu and SARB fields, operated by ADNOC Offshore, with initial production of 50,000 barrels per day (bpd).
The fields are expected to contribute to ADNOC's production capacity target of 3.5 million bpd by the end of 2018, the spokesman said last month.
ADNOC has sold two 500,000-barrel cargoes of the crude loading in November to South Korea's second largest refiner GS Caltex and India's Reliance Industries Ltd at close to parity to the official selling price (OSP) for Das Blend, trade sources said.
GS Caltex could not be reached for immediate comment.
A Reliance executive said on Wednesday that he could not confirm if they bought the oil.
"We have had to look at alternatives, like we are taking Middle Eastern crudes and we are also taking some of U.S. grades," he said, after Reliance halted oil imports from Iran.
Umm Lulu has an API gravity of 38.7 degrees and contains 0.7 percent sulphur.
(Reporting by Rania El Gamal in DUBAI and Florence Tan in SINGAPORE; Additional reporting by Promit Mukherjee in NEW DELHI; Editing by Darren Schuettler) ((Florence.Tan@thomsonreuters.com; +65 6870 3497; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))