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For OPEC’s Rivals, Success Lies in Oil Market Far, Far Away

  • U.S., European oil shipments to Asia increase amid global glut
  • Market contango makes long-haul voyages viable for sellers
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Citigroup's Morse Sees OPEC Reaching an Output Deal

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Rivals of OPEC seeking to reach its most-prized oil customers are finding that the long way around is better than any shortcut to success.

As the group seeks to implement a deal to limit output, the glut that was exacerbated by its prior strategy of keeping taps open has spawned a market structure that’s benefiting competitors in sales to Asia. Cargoes from Europe’s North Sea will reach South Korea in coming months, while U.S. Eagle Ford shale crude as well as Mexican oil arrived at Yeosu port in November. Japanese and Thai refiners have bought West Texas Intermediate from BP Plc.