Middle East Crude- Benchmarks drop; EFS widens

Middle East crude benchmarks fell although a wider Brent-Dubai spread is supporting spot premiums for Russian ESPO crude


SINGAPORE - Middle East crude benchmarks fell although a wider Brent-Dubai spread is supporting spot premiums for Russian ESPO crude, traders said on Thursday.

Brent's premium to Dubai crude rose 40 cents to $3.56 a barrel, the highest since October. DUB-EFS-1M

Gazprom may have sold its ESPO crude cargo for loading on July 3-13 at $4.70-$4.80 a barrel above Dubai quotes to Chinaoil, they said.

ASIA-PACIFIC CRUDE: Indonesia's Pertamina has bought two cargoes of condensate for July delivery, trade sources said.

The company purchased 650,000 barrels of North West Shelf (NWS) condensate for delivery on July 1-10, while 300,000 barrels of Sharjah condensate from the United Arab Emirates will be delivered on July 11-20, they said.

BP may have sold the cargoes, one of the sources said.

China's Fuhaichuang may have bought only one condensate cargo for July arrival and it was likely to be Escravos, the source said.

Pertamina and Fuhaichuang have separately issued tenders seeking condensate for August delivery.

WINDOW: Cash Dubai's premium to swaps dropped 24 cents to $2.45 a barrel.

Total continued to cut its offers for Murban and Das crude cargoes to 15 cents a barrel above their respective official selling prices, down from offers at 30-35 cents a day earlier.

BP bid for a July Upper Zakum crude cargo at 60 cents a barrel above its OSP, down from a premium of 70 cents on Wednesday. Seller-Buyer Price PDS-BP 69.25 PDS-Shell 69.25 PCHK-BP 69.20 PCHK-BP 69.20 PDS-BP 69.20 Reliance-Shell 69.20 Unipec-BP 69.20 PDS-Shell 69.20


Asia's oil refiners are considering reducing output after margins slumped to their lowest for the season since 2003, according to industry sources and Refinitiv data. 

Companies that planned to trim output include SK Energy, the Singapore Refinery Company (SRC) and at least one refiner in Thailand, five people familiar with the matter said.

In China, independent refiners known as 'teapots', which account for about a fifth of the country's crude imports, operated at below 50% of capacity on average in April through May, versus 64% in the first quarter, said Zang Wengang, an analyst with Sublime Information Co.


The United States should help Venezuela keep control over U.S. refiner Citgo by preventing its seizure by creditors seeking to collect on unpaid Venezuelan debts, opposition leader Juan Guaido said in an interview with Reuters

Turkey stopped purchasing Iranian oil as of May as U.S. waivers granted last November to eight buyers expired, and will continue to abide by Washington's demand that it halt all imports of crude oil from the Islamic Republic, a senior Turkish official said. 

U.S. crude oil inventories rose unexpectedly last week, hitting their highest levels since July 2017, due to weak refinery output, particularly in the Midwest, the Energy Information Administration said. 

The United Arab Emirates said on Wednesday that the participation of several countries in an investigation into last week's attack on oil tankers off its coast would support the "impartiality and transparency" of the findings. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL5N22Y3MS

India's April crude oil imports jumped to the highest level in six months, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) of the oil ministry showed on Wednesday. 

Iraq will increase production at its giant West Qurna 1 oilfield to 490,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the “next few days”, a senior Iraqi oil official said. 

(Reporting by Florence Tan; editing by Uttaresh.V) ((Florence.Tan@thomsonreuters.com; +65 6870 3497; Reuters Messaging: florence.tan.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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