Middle East Crude-Benchmarks fall; Asia's spot discount for Sokol narrows

Middle East crude benchmarks Oman and Dubai extended losses on Tuesday


SINGAPORE- Middle East crude benchmarks Oman and Dubai extended losses on Tuesday, dragged down by poor demand due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Indian oil explorer ONGC Videsh has sold a cargo of Russian Sokol crude loading June 16-22 at a narrower discount of around $5.80-$6.00 a barrel to Dubai quotes, likely to Chinaoil, traders said. 

Indonesia's Pertamina has offered May-loading Banyu Urip and Saharan Blend crude in a rare move to sell prompt cargoes due to falling domestic demand, traders said.

It did not award a tender closed last week seeking condensate for June-July despite of low offers, traders said.

Separately, Pertamina has issued another spot tender seeking sweet crude for delivery over the period of August to November.


U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday the OPEC+ group of oil producers is looking to cut output by 20 million barrels per day (bpd), a figure that appeared to include a wider group of producers, including the United States. 

China's crude oil imports in March rose 4.5% from a year earlier, according to official customs data, as refiners stocked up on cheaper cargoes despite falling domestic fuel demand and cuts in refining rates caused by the COVID-19 disease outbreak. 

India plans to completely fill its strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) by the third week of May by moving about 19 million barrels into the sites by then, the managing director of the country's SPR said on Tuesday. 

Oman has told its oil producing companies to cut 200,000 barrels per day starting from May 1 until the end of June in line with OPEC+ crude supply reduction pact and will inform its customers of the same plan, its oil ministry said. 

U.S. shale oil output is expected to drop by 194,000 barrels per day (bpd) in April, most on record, to about 8.7 million bpd, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, as producers slash drilling activity after oil prices plunged. 

The global oil production deal clinched at the weekend will help establish a price floor and save millions of jobs in the United States, senior Russian officials said on Monday. 

International energy major Shell has decided not to complete a deal on a Russian Arctic oil joint venture, Meretoyakha Neftegaz, it was expected to enter with Gazprom Neft, because of some "external" factors.

Lifting of restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic would likely lead to global oil demand returning to pre-crisis levels in autumn, Alexander Dyukov, head of Russia's oil firm Gazprom Neft, told Kommersant newspaper on Tuesday. 

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

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