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Surging Middle East Oil Refining Increases Tanker Rates

The oil-refining wave in the Middle East is filling tankers to export the region’s processed fuels and driving freight rates to the highest for the time of year since 2008.

Countries from Saudi Arabia to the United Arab Emirates will process 8.8 million barrels a day of crude this year, almost 10 percent of global consumption, the highest in International Energy Agency estimates starting in 2006. Traders booked 19 percent more Persian Gulf oil products on tankers in the spot market this year than the same period in 2013, charter data compiled by Bloomberg show. The largest vessels get rates of more than $22,000 a day, the most for September in six years.