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Middle East Crude-Benchmarks edge up; Shell buys Murban

Middle East crude benchmarks edged up on Thursday, supported by robust demand from Shell.

Shell bought 15 August Dubai partials on Platts window at $60.30 a barrel. That puts cash Dubai’s premium to swaps at $2.10 a barrel, up 13 cents from the previous session.

Shell also purchased an August-loading Murban crude from GS Caltex at 1 cent a barrel below its official selling price (OSP). This is the sixth Murban cargo Shell has bought on Platts and RIM trading platforms.

August-loading al-Shaheen crude was offered at $2.20 a barrel above Dubai quotes, a trader said, although it was unclear where deals were concluded.

Qatar Petroleum will award a tender by Friday to sell four al-Shaheen cargoes.

RUSSIA: Trafigura offered a Sokol crude cargo loading on Aug. 1-20 on RIM at $4.95 a barrel above Dubai quotes, much lower than a deal last week at a premium of $5.40-$5.50 a barrel.

ASIA-PACIFIC CRUDE: Malaysia’s Kimanis crude exports are expected to return to normal levels in August with 10 cargoes scheduled to load that month, up from three cargoes in July, trade sources said.

Petroleum Brunei, Shell and ConocoPhillips will be marketing two cargoes each, while Pertamina has one cargo.

Petronas is marketing three cargoes, the sources said.

Production of Kimanis crude, Malaysia’s key export grade, was expected to fall sharply in July because of maintenance work at the Gumusut-Kakap field.

TENDERS

PV Oil offered some cargoes of Nam Con Son condensate in a tender to close on June 18 with bids valid until June 25. Buyers can opt to lift 25,000 barrels of the oil during August, 25,000 barrels during September-October and an additional quantity at seller’s discretion during November-December.

NEWS

Two oil tankers were hit in suspected attacks in the Gulf of Oman and the crews have been evacuated, shipping firms and industry sources said on Thursday, a month after a similar incident in which four tankers in the region were struck.

One of the tankers, Front Altair, was carrying 75,000 tonnes of naphtha, a petrochemical feedstock for Taiwan’s CPC, when it was “suspected of being hit by a torpedo” around noon Taiwan time (0400GMT), the company said.

Algeria has floated an idea of increasing an oil supply cut by OPEC and its allies in the second half of 2019 as demand falters, OPEC sources said, although rolling over current output curbs is still the most likely scenario.

World oil markets have undergone a U-turn, switching from supply-side risks like OPEC’s production cuts or U.S. sanctions against producers Iran and Venezuela, analysts said, to concerns of slowing consumption amid fears of a global recession.

U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose unexpectedly for a second straight week, despite the highest refining rates in six months and lower imports and production, the Energy Information Administration said.

Glencore has put its oilfields in Chad up for sale, three sources familiar with the matter said, in a retreat from its foray into oil production following asset writedowns over the past decade.

The South Sudanese president has appointed a new petroleum minister, removing Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, the presidential spokesman told Reuters on Wednesday, but the reasons for the move were unclear.

Indonesia on Thursday began testing biodiesel with a bio-content of 30% in cars, its energy ministry said, as the Southeast Asian nation pushes to boost local markets for its vast palm oil crop.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Florence Tan, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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