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Petronas Raises Tapis Oil-Price Factor; Diesel Profit Gains

Petroliam Nasional Bhd., Malaysia’s state oil company, raised a price-adjustment factor for its flagship Tapis crude for the first time in four months as the profit from making diesel increases.

Petronas, as the Kuala Lumpur-based company is known, set the so-called alpha at $3.50 a barrel for October, an official said today, asking not to be identified because of internal rules. It was $3.05 for September and averaged $5.90 last year.

Refiners’ gains from producing gasoil, or diesel, has rebounded following a 9.3 percent drop last month, boosting demand for low-sulfur, or “sweet” crude, such as those pumped in Malaysia. Gasoil’s premium to Asian marker Dubai crude was at $19.07 a barrel today, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. This crack spread was $18.87 at the end of September.

Petronas includes the Tapis adjustment factor in its monthly calculations of official selling prices. The formula is tied to Brent produced in the North Sea, a benchmark grade for Europe, the Mediterranean and Africa.

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