Sluggish fuel oil cracks limited the upside for Middle East barrels, as refiners in Asia continued to source for alternatives to Iranian supplies.
ADNOC’s Middle East benchmark Murban crude was valued at a premium of about 5-8 cents a barrel, steady with levels seen last week.
“For the moment the price point for Middle East barrels should be supported by refiners seeking alternatives to supply from Iran,” a trader said.
“But fuel oil continues to ease and this should cap the upside on Middle East barrels.” Current world oil prices are not justified, Kuwait’s oil minister told state television in comments broadcast on Sunday, adding that the Gulf state’s current production rate will not affect its level of strategic reserves.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude exporter, will supply full contracted volumes of crude oil in April to at least one Asian term buyer, unchanged from March, an industry source familiar with the matter said on Monday.
The Swiss body responsible for enforcing sanctions said it has held talks with a number of locally based trading firms including AOT Trading AG and Gunvor over Syrian oil sanctions and has found no evidence of violations.