Middle East Crude-Benchmarks ease; Kuwait cuts OSPs
Middle East crude benchmarks Oman and Dubai eased on Tuesday, with premiums slipping under $2 a barrel, while Murban’s premium also came off this month’s high.
The prices dropped after Saudi Aramco notified at least five Asian buyers that it will supply full contractual volumes of crude oil in February, same as January, sources with knowledge of the matter said.
Kuwait cut the February official selling prices (OSPs) for two crude grades it sells to Asia from the previous month, a price document reviewed by Reuters showed
The producer has set February Kuwait Export Crude (KEC) price at $1.80 a barrel above the average of Oman/Dubai quotes, down $1 from the previous month.
It also cut the February Kuwait Super Light Crude (KSLC) OSP to $3.05 a barrel above Oman/Dubai quotes, down $1.30 from January.
Malaysia’s Kimanis crude oil exports will rise to seven cargoes in March from six in February, trade sources said.
A preliminary loading schedule seen by Reuters earlier had shown Kimanis March export cargoes falling to six from seven in February, but the sources said that one cargo was rolled over to March from the prior month.
Shell operates the two deepwater fields, Gumusut-Kakap and Malikai off the coast of Sabah, capable of producing 170,000 bpd of Kimanis crude at peak.
However, production has fallen below peak levels because of natural declines while a compressor issue cropped up in January, one of the sources said.
The unit has been shut for maintenance which is expected to be completed by the end of this month, he added.
Lower supplies of Kimanis crude could continue to support spot premiums for March-loading regional grades that are trading this month although the upside may be capped by strength in the underlying Brent benchmark.
Kazakhstan’s daily oil and gas condensate production fell 6% in early January from December levels, according to two industry sources and Reuters calculations, as mass anti-government protests rocked the country.
Production at Kazakhstan’s largest oil venture Tengizchevroil (TCO) is back to normal rates, operator Chevron said on Tuesday, after output was disrupted due to protests last week.
Gabon’s oil workers’ union and water and electricity workers’ union began a general strike on Tuesday in protest against COVID-19 restrictions and the cost of PCR tests, they said.
Chinese thermal coal futures fell on Tuesday after Indonesia, the world’s biggest thermal coal exporter, eased a ban on overseas shipments that surprised buyers at the start of the year, alleviating concerns about supply disruptions.
China’s biggest offshore oil and gas producer, CNOOC Ltd, on Tuesday set its 2022 production target at 600 million-610 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe), 10% above last year’s goal.
Venezuelan state-run oil firm PDVSA this week will resume exports of diluted crude oil (DCO) for the first time in nine months, according to a document seen by Reuters.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)