Aramco Plans First Satorp Exports This Month: Persian Gulf Oil

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude exporter, plans to make the first shipments this month of oil products from a joint-venture refinery that’s starting up at the Persian Gulf port of Jubail.

Yemen’s Aden refinery will this week award a tender for supply of gasoline, diesel and fuel oil for the fourth quarter.

Rabigh Refining and Petrochemicals Co. will take 16 days to repair ethane cracker furnaces damaged in a Sept. 11 power failure at the facility on Saudi Arabia’s west coast, the company said in a statement.

The following is a weekly summary of Persian Gulf crude-and product-market news and forthcoming events:


Libya declared force majeure on crude exports from the Mellitah, Hariga and Zawiya terminals on Sept. 12 amid continued worker strikes, state-owned National Oil Corp. said in a statement.

The holder of Africa’s biggest oil reserves is pumping about 200,000 to 300,000 barrels a day, compared with its post-revolution high of 1.6 million barrels achieved a year ago, Prime Minister Ali Zaidan said in Tripoli Sept. 11.

Crude prices are being affected by geopolitical events and Saudi Arabia will continue to keep the market well-supplied, Ali Al-Naimi, that country’s oil minister said in Seoul Sept. 12. The biggest member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is producing at the highest level in 32 years.

“The oil market’s fundamentals are good and the market is well-balanced,” he said. “Saudi Arabia and other producers remain willing and capable of meeting any additional demands.”

Iraq, the second-largest OPEC producer, last week released its October oil price differentials, raising levels to Asia and the U.S. Iraq boosted the premium for October shipments of Basrah Light crude to buyers in Asia to the highest since August 2012, raising it to 80 cents more than the average of the Oman and Dubai benchmarks, from a 15 cent premium for September.

The discount for October shipments of Basrah Light to the U.S. narrowed to $1.65 a barrel less than the Argus Sour Crude Index, from a $1.85 discount for September. The premium for Kirkuk crude rose to $1.40 more than ASCI for October, from $1.20 this month.

Discounts for October sales to Europe widened, with Basrah Light set at $3.80 a barrel less than Dated Brent and Kirkuk at $2.30 below the benchmark.

Kuwait Petroleum Corp. raised its official selling price for October crude to Asia by 40 cents to a premium of 95 cents a barrel more than the average of the Oman and Dubai benchmarks, the company said Sept. 11.

In regional trading, Oman and Dubai grades both declined for a second week this month in spot trading. Oman fell 69 cents a barrel, or 0.6 percent, to $109.40 a barrel in the week ended Sept. 13, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Dubai crude decreased $1.15 a barrel, or 1.1 percent, to $108.81 a barrel.

European benchmark Brent crude’s premium to Mideast marker Dubai declined for the first week in four. The Brent-Dubai exchange futures for swaps, or EFS, slipped $1.40 to $5.40 a barrel in the week ended Sept. 13, according to data from PVM Oil Associates.

Refined Products, Fuel Tenders and Refineries

Saudi Arabian Oil Co. and partner Total SA said they will offer this month the first fuel to be exported from their joint-venture refinery at Jubail. Saudi Aramco may sell one or two cargoes of fuel oil from the venture known as Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Co., or Satorp, two people with knowledge of the situation said last week.

Exports of gasoline and diesel are set to follow next month as new units of the refinery begin operation, the people said. Saudi Aramco Products Trading Co., an Aramco division, will sell the fuel oil in cargoes of 80,000 metric tons through direct negotiation, rather than by tender, one person said.

Satorp, 62.5 percent owned by Aramco with the rest held by Total, is processing about 120,000 barrels a day of Arab Light oil at a crude distillation unit, with another CDU to start up next month. A coking facility, which will break down fuel oil to produce diesel and gasoline, is to begin operations in November and will enable the refinery to process heavier oil grades. Satorp confirmed in a statement Sept. 12 that the plant was starting and that it would export products this month.

Yemen’s Aden Oil Refinery Co. is seeking to buy gasoline, gasoil and fuel oil for supply during the fourth quarter, according to tender documents obtained by Bloomberg Sept. 12.

Tenders for 350,000 metric tons of gasoline and 720,000 tons of gasoil for delivery from October through December closed Sept. 12 and Sept. 13, respectively. Offers to supply 375,000 tons of high-sulfur fuel oil were due Sept. 15.

Petro Rabigh, as the Saudi chemicals and refining company is known, said it plans to restart in the next few days furnaces in the ethane unit that weren’t damaged during the power failure. The crude refining unit was not damaged and electricity was restored by the evening of Sept. 11, according to the statement.

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