Asia-Pacific Crude-Condensate Remains Lackluster

Posted by Joseph Keefe
Thursday, June 05, 2014

The Asia-Pacific crude and condensate remained weighed by limited demand from refiners returning from maintenance, but may find some support from Brent's narrowing gap to Dubai swaps as well as the prospect of lower supply from Libya.

Shell sold 650,000 barrels of Northwest Shelf (NWS) condensate loading July 8-12 to Samsung Total at around $2.50 per barrel below Dated Brent, roughly the same level as the previous month, traders said.The deal could not be independently verified.

The grade was sold for June-loading at a discount of $2.30-$2.50 a barrel, according to Reuters data.

Traders said two NWS cargoes loading July 15-19 and July 23-27 held by Mitsui and Woodside, respectively, remained unsold.

Brent's premium to Dubai swaps, or Brent-Dubai Exchange of Futures for Swaps (EFS) <DUB-EFS-1M>, narrowed 23 cents to $4.20 per barrel. The spread has come down after reaching nearly $5 per barrel at the end of last month, making it more lucrative for refiners to seek Brent-related cargoes.

The possibility of further supply disruptions from Libya could also support Asia-Pacific grades, which are similar in quality to the low-sulphur, or sweet, grades produced in the North African country.

Libya's crude exports could fall to zero within days as the state oil company could be forced to divert the only remaining exports to the Zawiya refinery.

Crude from two offshore fields may be used to supply the 120,000 barrel per day refinery unless oil production from Brega in the east improves within two days, a spokesman for National Oil Corp (NOC) said.

It would be the first time that Libya has stopped exporting oil since the 2011 civil war.

TENDERS

India's Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) bought 950,000 barrels of Qua Iboe and 950,000 barrels of Agbami for loading July 15-25 from Glencore in a tender, traders said.

The Qua Iboe cargo was traded at around $3.10 per barrel above Dated Brent, while the Agbami cargo was priced at a premium of around $1.60 per barrel, a trader said. The deals could not be independently verified.

Vietnam's PV Oil sold 300,000 barrels of Bach Ho for July-loading in a tender to Vitol at around $2 per barrel above Dated Brent, traders said. The company also sold a similar-sized cargo to Idemitsu at a premium of $2.50-$2.90 per barrel, they said.

MARKET NEWS


Ecuador will sign two financing deals totalling $9 billion with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in the coming months for the construction of an oil refinery, a top government official said on Wednesday.

Canada almost doubled imports of crude oil from the United States in April compared with the same month a year earlier, Statistics Canada data showed on Wednesday, as the U.S. light oil boom continued to displace barrels from overseas.

Sona Petroleum Bhd, Malaysia's largest listed special-purpose acquisition company, is buying a 40 percent stake in two oil and gas blocks from London-listed Salamander Energy Plc in the Gulf of Thailand for $280 million.

Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and Florence Tan

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