Middle East Oil Remains at Discount as Refiner Profits Decline
Middle East oil for sale to Asia traded at discounts as refiners eased purchases amid declining processing profits.
Murban, produced by Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., stayed at a discount of 13 cents a barrel to its official selling price for September loading, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News. Qatar Marine remained at a discount of 18 cents a barrel to its official selling price, Bloomberg data showed.
Refiners may be easing purchases as a drop in refining profits reduce the incentive to run plants at maximum capacity. The black-white spread, or the price difference between fuel oil and diesel, dropped 1 cent to $24.17 a barrel today, down from $26.25 a week ago. The narrowing spread indicates refiners with the ability to upgrade fuel oil are making less money than before.
Oman crude for immediate loading declined 33 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $112.31 a barrel, Bloomberg data showed. Dubai oil for delivery in September fell 0.3 percent to $111.85. Murban decreased 0.3 percent to $116.10.
Oman futures for September delivery rose 67 cents to $112.67 a barrel on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange at 5:41 p.m. Singapore time, with 1,395 contracts traded. The settlement price was $113.30 at 12:30 p.m. in Dubai.
The September Brent-Dubai EFS widened 28 cents to $5.82 a barrel, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a London-based broker. The exchange for swaps for October widened 14 cents to $5.36.
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