Murban Premium to Dubai Falls; African Exports Climb: Asia Crude

The premium of Abu Dhabi’s flagship Murban crude to Middle East benchmark Dubai fell 9 percent. Exports of West African crude to Asia rose to the highest in eight months.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. set the official selling price of Murban for December at $110.75 a barrel, according to a notice sent to buyers yesterday. That puts the grade at a $4.41 premium to Dubai as assessed by Platts, the energy-information unit of McGraw-Hill Cos., down from $4.84 the previous month, according to Bloomberg News calculations.

Refiners in Asia will boost imports of West African crude for loading this month to the most since May as more sales to Taiwan and record purchases of Angolan oil by India offset a drop in Chinese imports from the region.

Asia bought 59 cargoes totaling 1.8 million barrels a day from Angola, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana and Democratic Republic of Congo, according to a survey of five traders and an analysis of loading plans obtained by Bloomberg News. That exceeds the 1.76 million barrels a day imported in December, the survey showed.

Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. is seeking between 650,000 barrels to 1 million barrels of low-sulfur crude oil for delivery during the first half of March, according to a document sent to potential sellers yesterday. Offers are due Jan. 9.

Yemen issued a tender to sell 2.1 million barrels of Masila crude for loading in March, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg yesterday. Bids are due at 3 p.m. London time today.

Mideast Crude

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 $3.56 a barrel during the last five days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The 30-day average was $2.82.

The February Brent-Dubai exchange for swaps, which measures the European crude’s premium to Middle East oil, advanced 10 cents to $5.40 a barrel, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a London-based broker. The March EFS rose 12 cents to $4.63.

Dubai crude’s backwardation, when near-term shipments cost more than future deliveries, rose 8 cents a barrel. Spot prices were $1.31 higher than cargoes for two months later, according to PVM data.

Oman futures for March delivery settled 31 cents lower at $107.31 a barrel at 12:30 p.m. on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange.

Vitol Group bought the only two Dubai partials traded today in the Platts pricing window, according to a survey of people who monitor the market. China National United Oil Corp, known as Chinaoil, sold the 25,000 barrel lots at $107.50 a barrel.

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