Sokol Trades at Lower Premium; Vietnam Plant Resumes: Asia Crude

Russia’s Rosneft sold Sokol crude for September at lower premiums than the previous month. Vietnam’s Dung Quat refinery is operating at full capacity for the first time since it was shut in mid-May.

OAO Rosneft sold Sokol crude to China National United Oil Corp., known as Chinaoil, and Vitol Group, said two traders who participate in the market, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential.

Chinaoil paid $5 to $5.50 a barrel over benchmark crude Dubai for a cargo loading Aug. 28 to Sept. 6, while Vitol bought the shipment for Sept. 15 to Sept. 24 at premium of about $4.40 a barrel, said the traders.

Last month, Rosneft sold a cargo for August at a premium of $5.30 to $6 a barrel, two traders said June 8.

Itochu Corp. is offering 95,000 metric tons of Russian Sokol crude for loading mid-September, according to two traders who participate in the market, asking not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak to the media.

Vietnam Oil & Gas Group, the state-owned oil producer known as PetroVietnam, resumed full production at the Dung Quat refinery after shutting for planned maintenance.

The plant started operating commercially July 7 and returned to full capacity the following day, Nguyen Viet Thang, the deputy general director of Binh Son Refinery & Petrochemical Co., operator of the plant, said by phone today.

The 130,000 barrel-a-day facility, the country’s only refinery, was shut from May 15 for repairs, Nguyen Hoai Giang, the general director of Binh Son Refinery, said at the time.

Libyan Output

Three Libyan oil ports began export operations after a halt on July 5 because of protests, said the chairman of state-run National Oil Corp. Crude production in the North African country will return to a level of 1.5 million barrels a day within 24 hours, Nuri Berruien said yesterday in a phone interview from the capital, Tripoli.

Protesters occupied the ports of Ras Lanuf, Brega and Es-Sider to call attention to their claims of economic and political marginalization of Libya’s oil-rich eastern province of Cyrenaica, cutting crude exports by about 300,000 barrels a day, Berruien said.

Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world’s largest state-owned crude exporter, will provide full contracted supplies to customers in Asia for August, according to seven buyers at regional refiners who received notification from the producer.

Saudi Aramco, as the company is known, will supply 100 percent of volumes agreed under long-term contracts, said the people, asking not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak to the media. August will be the 33rd month in a row that Saudi Arabia has not trimmed exports.

Petronas Alpha

Petroliam Nasional Bhd., Malaysia’s state oil company, reduced a price-adjustment factor for its flagship Tapis crude, following a drop in benchmark futures.

Petronas, as the Kuala Lumpur-based company is known, set the so-called alpha at $8.15 a barrel for July, an official said today, asking not to be identified because of internal rules. It was $8.30 for June and averaged $5.90 in 2011.

The Brent-Dubai exchange for swaps, which measures the European oil’s premium to the Middle East grade, fell 12 cents to $2.68 a barrel for August, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a London-based broker. The September EFS lost 10 cents to $2.54.

Dubai Backwardation

Dubai crude’s backwardation, when the price for near-term deliveries is greater than later supplies, narrowed 2 cents. Swaps for August were 67 cents a barrel more than October, according to data from PVM.

Profits from refining a barrel of Dubai into fuels such as diesel and gasoline priced in the regional oil-trading hub of Singapore averaged $2.64 during the last five days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The 30-day average is $2.70.

Oman for September delivery fell $1.09 to settle at $96.82 a barrel at 12:30 p.m. on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange.

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