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Mideast Crude Falls After Producers Keep Official Prices High

Middle East crude oil grades fell against their benchmarks on speculation that producers kept prices too high for refiners to justify purchases.

Murban for August loading slipped 1 cent to a premium of 10 cents a barrel to its official selling price, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Qatar Marine for the same period also declined 1 cent to a premium of 1 cent a barrel over the official level, Bloomberg data showed.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. has set its May official prices and the Murban grade was lowered 5.8 percent to $113.60 a barrel, the company said in notices sent yesterday to buyers. That means the grade is at a premium of $5.22 to Dubai for the same period, the most since July 2008, according to Bloomberg calculations.

Oman crude for immediate loading dropped 85 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $108.05 barrel, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Dubai oil for loading in August fell 85 cents to $107.59. Murban decreased 0.8 percent to $112.38.

The Brent-Dubai exchange for swaps for July was unchanged at $6.55 a barrel, PVM said. The exchange for swaps for August dropped 1 cent to $6.30 a barrel.

Oman futures for August delivery fell 14 cents to $108.43 a barrel on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange at 6:49 p.m. Singapore time, with 804 contracts traded. The settlement price was at $108.78 at 12:30 p.m. in Dubai.

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