Tapis Trades at Higher Level; Refining Profits Drop: Asia Crude

Malaysia’s flagship Tapis crude for February loading sold at higher premiums than January supplies.

Petroliam Nasional Bhd., known as Petronas, sold 300,000 barrels of Tapis loading in mid-February at a premium of $5.60 to $5.70 a barrel to Brent, said two people who participate in the market who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak to the media.

The state-owned Malaysian oil company last month sold a January cargo at a premium of $4.90 to $5 a barrel, two people said Nov. 30.

The company also sold 300,000 barrels of Labuan for late-February at about $7.50 a barrel above Brent, as well as 400,000 barrels each of Bunga Orkid and Bunga Kekwa, for the same month, at premiums of about $5.20 and $5.35 a barrel, respectively, according to three people who participate in the market.

Asia-Pacific benchmark refining margins, or the profit from processing Dubai crude into fuels such as diesel and gasoline priced in the regional oil-trading hub of Singapore, averaged $3.36 a barrel during the last five days, down for a third day to the lowest in almost three weeks, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The 30-day average was $2.80.

Bharat Petroleum Corp., India’s second-biggest state refiner, restarted a crude distillation unit at its Kochi plant late last month after completing planned maintenance work, according to two company officials.

The 4.5 million metric-ton-a-year unit at the southern Indian plant was closed for about a month, said the officials, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential. The refinery’s other crude unit operated normally during the work, they said.

Minas OSP

Indonesia set the official selling price of its Minas crude for December at $109.01 a barrel, according to a document from the country’s Directorate General of Oil and Gas, at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, obtained by Bloomberg News.

That sets the Southeast Asian nation’s flagship grade 84 cents, or 0.7 percent, higher than November’s level. Cinta crude for December increased to $107.92 a barrel, while Duri climbed to $105.03.

Indian Oil Corp., the nation’s largest refiner, issued a tender to buy crude for loading in March, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg News. Offers are due Jan. 8.

Mideast Crude

The February Brent-Dubai exchange for swaps, which measures the European crude’s premium to Middle East oil, advanced 37 cents to $5.52 a barrel, the highest since Nov. 8, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a London-based broker. The March EFS added 85 cents to $5.18.

Abu Dhabi’s Murban and Upper Zakum were unchanged at discounts of 50 cents and 5 cents a barrel, respectively, to their official selling prices, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Qatar Land remained at 60 cents below its OSP while Qatar Marine was at a 13 cent premium.

Oman futures for March delivery settled 12 cents higher at $107.62 a barrel at 12:30 p.m. on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange.

No Dubai partial cargoes were traded today, according to a survey of people who monitor the Platts pricing window.

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