Iraq Cuts January Premium for Asia Buyers: Persian Gulf Oil

Iraq cut the premium it will charge buyers in Asia for its main Basrah Light oil grade next month and raised differentials to the U.S. and Europe for Basrah Light and Kirkuk crudes. Iran releases its prices this week.

Exxon Mobil Corp. offered a year’s supply of gasoil from a joint venture refinery it operates with Saudi Arabian Oil Co. on the Red Sea.

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


Iraq cut the premium it will charge buyers in Asia for January-loading cargoes of Basrah Light crude to 80 cents more than the average of the benchmark Oman and Dubai grades, the State Oil Marketing Co. said Dec. 10. That’s lower than the 90 cents-a-barrel premium for December cargoes.

SOMO, as the marketing company is known, raised levels for both its Basrah light and Kirkuk grades to North America and Europe. SOMO trimmed the discount for Basrah Light crude to the U.S. to 85 cents a barrel less than the benchmark Argus Sour Crude Index, from 95 cents the month earlier. SOMO raised the Kirkuk premium to $1.05 a barrel, from 95 cents in December.

SOMO trimmed the discount for Basrah Light to Europe to $4.15 a barrel less than the Dated Brent benchmark, from $4.45 less than the benchmark in December. It narrowed the Kirkuk discount to $2.35 a barrel, from $2.70 a barrel.

Kuwait reduced its January export crude premium for buyers in Asia to 70 cents more than the Oman and Dubai average, from $1.10 a barrel in December, Kuwait Petroleum Corp. said Dec. 10.

Qatar Petroleum cut its retroactive prices for both of its crude grades for cargoes loaded in November, it said Dec. 10. Qatar cut Land Crude to $111.25 a barrel for November, from $11.45 in October, and decreased Marine crude to $109.05 for November, from $109.15.

Qatar International Petroleum Marketing Co. is offering to sell five cargoes of Al-Shaheen crude totaling 3 million barrels for February loading, two people who received the tender said Dec. 12. The marketer, known as Tasweeq, is offering five cargoes of 600,000 barrels each. Bids are due today and should be valid through Dec. 18.

In regional spot trading, Oman and Dubai grades declined for the first week in five, each slipping $3.24 a barrel, or 3 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Oman crude fell to $106.11 a barrel in spot trading in the week ended Dec. 13. Dubai dropped to $105.97 a barrel.

European benchmark Brent crude’s premium to Mideast marker Dubai fell for a third consecutive week. The Brent Dubai exchange futures for swaps, or EFS, slipped 41 cents, or 9.8 percent, to $3.77 a barrel in trading through Dec. 13, according to PVM Oil Associates.

Refined Products, Fuel Tenders and Refineries

Exxon offered to sell 11 or 12 cargoes of gasoil for delivery next year from the joint-venture refinery it operates with Saudi Arabian Oil, or Saudi Aramco, at the Red Sea port of Yanbu. Exxon is offering gasoil, or diesel, with sulfur content of 500 parts per million in cargoes of 300,000 barrels to 500,000 barrels for delivery between January and December.

Offers for the fuel from the Saudi Aramco Mobil Refinery Co., or SAMREF, venture were due Dec. 12 and should be valid until Dec. 20, said two traders with knowledge of the offer.

Vopak Horizon Ltd., a joint venture fuel storage terminal owned by Royal Vopak NV and Dubai’s Emirates National Oil Co., resumed operations at two loading jetties in the United Arab Emirates sheikhdom of Fujairah after they were damaged in a shipping collision last month, Cees de Greve, the terminal’s general manager, said Dec. 12. The jetties are working at about 90 percent of their capacity, and the venture is evaluating damage to two other jetties, which it may need a few months to repair, he said. There were no injuries or spills, he said.

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