Middle East Crude-Benchmarks fall; Jan ESPO loading hits record high
SINGAPORE, Feb 3 (Reuters) -Middle East crude benchmarks Oman, Dubai and Murban edged lower on Friday amid thin trade, while the final plan of the European Union sanction on Russian oil products is under watch.
The market is also waiting for top oil exporter Saudi Arabia to publish its official selling prices (OSPs) for March-loading cargoes.
The OSPs to Asian buyers are expected to be lowered from the previous month, as the increasing flow of Russian crude into Asia take shares of other suppliers.
Russia exported some 3.8 million tonnes of ESPO Blend crude oil ESPO-DUB from the Far East port of Kozmino in January, a record monthly high for the port, market sources said on Thursday.
China's independent refineries are ramping up imports of discounted fuel oil blended from Russian barrels to use as low-cost feedstock amid a shortage of government crude oil import quotas for some of them, according to trade sources and data.
SINGAPORE CASH DEALS
Cash Dubai's premium to swaps fell 6 cents to $1.77 a barrel.
DME OMAN DIFF TO DUBAI
Taiwan's state-owned refiner, CPC Corp, plans to shut its No. 11 crude distillation unit (CDU) in June for scheduled maintenance, company spokesperson Chang Ray-chung said on Friday.
The European Union's ban on imports of Russian refined oil products, including diesel and jet fuel, will disrupt global flows once it takes effect on Sunday and could hurt Moscow more than an embargo on crude oil.
Russia may switch to taxing oil producers based on Brent crude LCOc1 prices rather than the currently used Urals benchmark, after Western sanctions drove down the price of the latter, the Kommersant daily said on Friday, citing sources.
French oil major TotalEnergies TTEF.PA and Iraq are taking further time to hammer out key sticking points in a long-delayed $27 billion energy deal which Baghdad hopes will revive foreign investment in the country.
Pemex [RIC:RIC:PEMX.UL] is nearing a full restart on Thursday of its 312,500-barrel-per-day (bpd) Deer Park, Texas, refinery following an unplanned shutdown because of severe storms on Jan. 24, said people familiar with plant operations.
For crude prices, oil product cracks and refining margins, please click on the RICs below.
Fuel oil crack
Complex refining margins
Reporting by Muyu Xu; Editing by Rashmi Aich
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