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Middle East crude benchmarks firm; Brent-Dubai widens further

Middle East crude benchmarks climbed on Monday to touch new highs this month ahead of Qatar Petroleum’s tender to sell al-Shaheen crude for June loading.

Brent’s premium to swaps rose 10 cents to $2.29 a barrel, the highest since October, Refinitiv data showed.

QATAR: Qatar Petroleum has amended its al-Shaheen crude tender, offering two 500,000-barrel cargoes instead of three for June loading. The cargoes are to load on June 20-21 and 25-26.

The tender will close later on Monday with bids valid until Tuesday.

About 15 cargoes of al-Shaheen crude will be available for June loading, trade sources said last week.

The crude is expected to trade at premiums exceeding $1.10 a barrel, a trader said, up from an average premium of 92 cents in the previous month.

AUSTRALIA: The spot premium for Australian heavy sweet crude Pyrenees may have touched a fresh all-time high at more than $8 a barrel above dated Brent after BHP sold a 600,000-barrel cargo for loading on June 22-26.

The buyer was not immediately known.

Santos will close a tender later on Monday to sell a June-loading cargo each of Van Gogh and Cooper Basin.

The loading programme for North West Shelf (NWS) condensate in June has been finalised after cargoes loading in April and May were further pushed back by one to three days. Seller Grade Volume Loading date MIMI NWS cond 650KB June 5-9 BHP NWS cond 650KB June 12-16 Woodside NWS cond 650KB June 19-23 BP NWS cond 650KB June 26-30

MALAYSIA: Malaysia is expected to reduce Kimanis crude exports in June to eight cargoes, down from the usual 10 cargoes, two trade sources said.

RUSSIA: Surgutneftegaz will close on Monday a tender to sell two ESPO crude cargoes loading at end-May to early June.

REFINERY

The biggest shareholder in South Korean oil refiner Hyundai Oilbank said on Monday that state-owned Saudi Aramco has agreed to buy a 17 percent stake in its oil processing operations for 1.4 trillion won ($1.24 billion).

NEWS

Iran’s oil minister said on Sunday that U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela and tensions in Libya have made the supply-demand balance in the global oil market fragile, and warned of consequences for increasing pressures on Tehran.

South Korea’s oil imports from Iran fell 12 percent in March from a year earlier, customs data showed on Monday, but the monthly intake was still the highest since the country resumed buying Iranian oil in January.

The United States on Friday announced more sanctions on shipping companies transporting oil from Venezuela, blacklisting four shipping companies and nine vessels, some of which the U.S. Treasury Department said carried oil to Cuba.

A dispute between Haiti and a U.S. energy trading firm is leading to long blackouts and fuel shortages in the Caribbean nation, feeding anger at President Jovenel Moise’s government following the collapse of a supply deal with Venezuela last year.

Russia and OPEC may decide to boost production to fight for market share with the United States but this would push oil prices as low as $40 per barrel, TASS news agency ?ited Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov as saying on Saturday.

U.S. energy regulators on Thursday approved the rate structure and terms of service for EPIC Crude Pipeline LP’s new 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) line from the Permian basin to Corpus Christi, Texas, subject to some conditions.

Oil major Chevron Corp’s $33 billion deal on Friday to acquire Anadarko Petroleum Corp has some investors and industry executives asking whether it is time for other U.S. shale oil and gas producers to consider selling themselves.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Florence Tan)

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