Monday, December 19, 2011

OPEC is raising its target for production

Saudi Arabia won over fellow OPEC members to forge agreement on a new oil production ceiling for the first time in three years, to accommodate increasing output from Libya and Iraq.

Qatar International Petroleum Marketing Co., known as Tasweeq, offered 3 million barrels of Al-Shaheen crude for February loading. Libya’s National Oil Corp. agreed to buy 3 million tons of gasoline next year from four international companies, according to the manager of its supply department.

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

Crude for January delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell as much as 99 cents to $92.54 a barrel. The contract, which expires tomorrow, fell as low as $92.52 on Dec. 16, the lowest price since Nov. 3. The more actively traded February futures were at $93.79, up 4 cents. Prices are 2.4 percent higher this year after rising 15 percent in 2010.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries set its output limit at 30 million barrels a day, aligning its target more closely with actual supply and establishing a base-line from which to cut production if the global economy deteriorates further in 2012. Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest producer, boosted output to more than 10 million barrels a day in November.

Iraq plans to start operating the first of four new offshore terminals for tankers, raising its export capacity by 900,000 barrels a day. OPEC’s third-largest crude producer scheduled its next licensing round for drilling rights for March 7-8 in Baghdad.

Russia’s OAO Tatneft (TATN) signed a $1 billion accord with Iran to develop the Persian Gulf nation’s Zagheh oil field. Hindustan Petroleum Corp. (HPCL), India’s third-largest state refiner, plans to import oil from Syria. Iran and Syria are both seeking foreign energy investments and contracts as they come under stricter international economic sanctions.

Tasweeq of Qatar offered 3 million barrels of Al-Shaheen crude for February loading, according to two traders who received a notice from the company and declined to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak to media.

National Oil Corp., the Libyan state energy company, awarded a tender to sell two shipments of crude for loading in December to Morgan Stanley and China International United Petroleum & Chemical Corp., known as Unipec, three traders who participate in the market said on Dec. 9.Morgan Stanley (MS) bought 600,000 barrels of Mellitah blend for Dec. 28 to Dec. 31, while Unipec bought 1 million barrels of Amna grade for Dec. 26 to Dec. 31, said the traders, who declined to be identified because the information is confidential.
Light Products

The premium of gasoil, or diesel, to Asian marker Dubai crude rose $1.55 to $19.62 a barrel at 12 p.m. Singapore time, according to PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. This crack spread is a measure of processing profit.

Fuel oil’s discount to Dubai crude narrowed 57 cents to $3.76 a barrel, based on PVM data. The difference is the narrowest so far this month. The premium of 180-centistoke fuel oil to 380-centistoke grade, or the viscosity spread, was unchanged after decreasing to $13.75. This means bunker, or marine fuel, moved in tandem with higher-quality fuel oil.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), the world’s biggest petrochemicals producer, is developing a method to convert crude oil into petrochemicals without passing it through a refinery, said Prince Faisal bin Turki, an adviser to Saudi Arabia’s oil ministry. The country expects to produce 100 million metric tons in 2016, a 250 percent increase from 2006, he said on Dec. 16.

Qatar’s Tasweeq offered to sell cargoes of full-range naphtha for January loading and deodorized field condensate and low-sulfur condensate for February, according to documents e- mailed to potential buyers on Dec. 6. It also offered to sell a gasoline cargo for loading in January, and term supplies of the motor fuel for the first half of next year.

Libya’s National Oil agreed to buy 3 million tons of gasoline next year from four international companies, according to Fathi Rajab, manager of the company’s supply department. National Oil will receive 10 or 11 cargoes monthly, each containing 25,000 tons to 30,000 tons of the fuel, he said, declining to identify the companies

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