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Mideast Crude Little Changed Before Saudi Pricing Announcement

Feb. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Middle East crude premiums were little changed before the scheduled announcement from Saudi Arabia on its official prices.

Abu Dhabi’s Murban crude was assessed at 8 cents below its listed selling price for the second day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

No deals were done in the Dubai partials market, with buyers and sellers apart by 10 cents a barrel, according to a survey of traders who monitor the Platts pricing window. South Korea’s SK Innovation Co. offered to sell at $109.80 a barrel while Trafigura Beheer BV bid $109.70.

Oman futures for April delivery rose 37 cents to $111.32 a barrel on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange at 5:50 p.m. Singapore time with 1,887 contracts traded. The settlement price was $110.89 at 12:30 p.m. in Dubai.

The March Brent-Dubai exchange for swaps, which measures the European benchmark contract against the Persian Gulf grade, rose 6 cents to $2.85 a barrel, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd. The April exchange for swaps rose cents to $2.95.

The Singapore cracking margin for processing a barrel of Dubai crude into fuels such as gasoline and diesel averaged $7.65 this week, compared with an average of $4.59 for the last three months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Saudi Prices

Saudi Arabia is expected to cut all price differentials to buyers in Asia, according to a survey of 10 refinery officials. The world’s biggest oil exporter, is poised to narrow the difference between its lowest-quality crude and the top grade to the most in two years.

Arab Heavy, the kingdom’s cheapest oil, will be sold to Asian customers next month for $2.02 a barrel less than higher-quality Arab Light, the smallest difference since March 2010, according to a Bloomberg survey of 10 buyers in Japan, Singapore China, South Korea and India. State-run Saudi Arabian Oil Co. will announce official selling prices, which act as benchmarks for pricing in Iran, Iraq and Kuwait, on Feb. 5.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ramsey Al-Rikabi in Singapore at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mike Anderson at

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