Petroliam Nasional Bhd., Malaysia’s state oil company, raised the price-adjustment factor for its flagship Tapis crude to the highest level in six months as the profit from making diesel increased.
Petronas, as the Kuala Lumpur-based company is known, set the so-called alpha at $5.70 a barrel for January shipments, according to an official who asked not to be identified because of company policy. It was $5 for December and averaged $6.65 in 2012, up from $5.90 in 2011.
Refiners’ profit from producing gasoil, or diesel, has increased, boosting demand for low-sulfur, or “sweet” crudes such as those pumped in Malaysia. Gasoil’s premium to Asian marker Dubai crude was at $20.15 a barrel today, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. The so-called crack spread has widened 6.8 percent so far this month, extending two months of gains.
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.