Middle East Crude-Benchmarks mixed; ESPO premiums hit 5-mth high

Middle East crude benchmarks Oman and Dubai were mixed on Tuesday


SINGAPORE- Middle East crude benchmarks Oman and Dubai were mixed on Tuesday, although spot premiums for Russian grades continued to climb with ESPO trading at the highest premiums in five months.

Russia's Surgutneftegaz has sold two cargoes of ESPO crude on Dec. 31-Jan. 5 and Jan. 3-8 at premiums of about $2.70 a barrel above Dubai quotes, traders said, a jump from the $1.50-$2.30 range seen last month for December-loading cargoes. 

Itochu bought one of the cargoes, they said.

Surgut has issued another tender to sell two more cargoes later on Tuesday. 

For Middle East crude, January-loading al-Shaheen may have been sold at premiums between 60 and 70 cents a barrel to Dubai quotes, traders said. Qatar Petroleum is expected to award its tender by end-Tuesday.

Murban crude sellers have raised their offers to premiums of about 35 cents a barrel to its official selling price after the grade was earlier sold to Japan at premiums of 20-30 cents, traders said.

Asia-Pacific sweet grades also fetched higher premiums this month.

PV Oil has sold its January-loading Chim Sao cargo to Vitol at $1.60 a barrel above dated Brent while its Ruby crude tender went to Shell at a premium of just above $2 a barrel to dated Brent, they added.

ConocoPhillips has sold a January-loading Kimanis crude cargo at a premium of just above $2 a barrel to dated Brent, one of the traders said.


OPEC and its allies have revised oil demand scenarios for 2021 with demand seen weaker than previously anticipated, a confidential document seen by Reuters shows, supporting the case for a tighter supply policy next year. 

Oil firm Equinor expects global oil demand to peak by around 2027-2028, two-three years earlier than the company previously saw, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it said on Tuesday. 

U.S. oil output from shale formations is expected to decline by about 139,000 barrels per day (bpd) in December to about 7.51 million bpd, the lowest level since June, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a monthly forecast on Monday.

Indonesia is unlikely to proceed with plans to raise the bio-content of its palm oil-based biodiesel to 40% next year as it struggles to fund the programme, an energy ministry official told parliament on Monday. 

(Reporting by Florence Tan; editing by Uttaresh.V) ((Florence.Tan@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: florence.tan.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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