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BP, Unipec Buy ESPO; Shell Purchases Dubai Partials: Asia Crude

BP Plc and China International United Petroleum & Chemical Co., known as Unipec, bought East Siberia-Pacific Ocean, or ESPO, crude cargoes.

BP paid a premium of $5 a barrel to OAO Rosneft for 100,000 metric tons of ESPO for Feb. 18 to Feb. 21 loading, according to two people who participate in the market, asking not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to talk to the media. Unipec paid a premium of $4.77 a barrel above benchmark Dubai prices to TNK-BP for a similar sized cargo for Feb. 22 to Feb. 25 loading, according to two traders who participate in the market, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc bought two Dubai partial cargoes from Phibro, a unit of Occidental Petroleum Corp., and Unipec, according to a survey of traders who monitor transactions on the Platts window. The lots were traded at $106.60 and $106.90 a barrel respectively, the survey showed.

Dubai crude’s backwardation, when near-term shipments cost more than future deliveries, widened 3 cents. Spot prices were $1.75 a barrel higher than cargoes for two months later, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker.

Benchmark Asia-Pacific refining margins, or the profit from processing a barrel of Dubai crude into fuels such as diesel and gasoline priced in the regional oil-trading hub of Singapore, averaged $3.61 during the last five days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The 30-day average was $2.68.

The February Brent-Dubai exchange for swaps, which measures the European oil’s premium to Mideast crude, rose 5 cents to $4.60 a barrel. The March EFS gained 1 cent to $4.08.

Abu Dhabi’s Murban crude dropped 3 cents to a discount of 38 cents a barrel to its official selling price and Lower Zakum declined 5 cents to a discount of 15 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Qatar Land fell 3 cents to a discount of 53 cents. They are all at the lowest level since Aug. 1. Qatar Marine was unchanged at 13 cents premium.

Oman futures for February delivery closed up $1.31 at $106.94 a barrel at 12:30 p.m. local time on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange.

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