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Middle East Crude-Oman, Murban edge lower; ESPO prices rise in China

Middle East crude benchmarks Oman and Murban fell in the last trading session in August as trades winded down, but the monthly average of the premiums for the grades were higher than July, on the back of the prolonged supply cut from Saudi Arabia.

The market is waiting for announcement from the top oil exporter on its output plan and official selling prices for October.

Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME) hosted an auction on Thursday, on behalf of Oman’s Ministry of Energy and Minerals, to sell 2 million barrels of November-loading Oman crude. The cargo was awarded at a premium of $0.21 over the November Official Selling Price (OSP).

Meanwhile, China’s tepid economic growth and a possible extension of oil output cuts from top exporter Saudi Arabia are set to dominate discussions as global energy executives and officials gather next week at two major industry events in Singapore.

Prices for Russia’s light sweet ESPO crude continue to rise in China. The October-arrival cargoes are traded at a premium of near 50 cents above ICE Brent on the delivered-ex-ship basis this week, up from a discount of about $1 last week, several trading sources said.

ESPO was last traded in a premium territory against ICE Brent in last November.


The official selling price (OSP) for Oman crude oil will rise by $6.03 to $86.57 a barrel in October, according to Reuters calculations based on data from the Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME).

The October Oman OSP is the average of daily Oman settlements for the front-month contract at 0830 GMT throughout August.

The Dubai crude OSP, set at parity to DME Oman, was also at$86.57 a barrel for October.


Cash Dubai’s premium to swaps rose 20 cents to $1.87 a barrel.

Glencore will deliver two October al-Shaheen cargo to Vitol following the trades, while ExxonMobil will deliver two October Upper Zakum crude to Vitol.

A total of 25 deliveries of October-loading crude were settled at the Platts window in August, including 11 Upper Zakum cargoes, seven Oman cargoes and seven al-Shaheen cargoes.


China’s Sinopec Corp 0386.HK is setting up a new entity to invest in refinery and petrochemical assets overseas in a bid to leverage its expertise and deep pockets to expand globally as local Chinese oil demand nears a plateau.

Crude oil inventories drew down by 10.6 million barrels last week, more than expected on the back of robust exports and sturdy demand from refineries, according to data from the Energy Information Administration.

Assala Energy, which is wholly owned by Carlyle Group CG.O, said its oil production in Gabon has been unaffected by the military coup in the country.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Muyu Xu; Editing by Shweta Agarwal)

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