DUBAI- Saudi Arabia has cut the March official selling price (OSP) for its Arab Light grade for Asian customers by 80 cents a barrel, setting it at a premium of $2.90 versus the Oman/Dubai average, state oil company Saudi Aramco said on Wednesday.

The world’s top oil exporter was expected to reduce prices for most of the crude grades it sells to Asia in March to track a weaker Middle East benchmark Dubai and lower refinery margins for light and middle distillates, according to a Reuters survey. 

Industry sources told Reuters that Saudi crude nominations for March were also lower amid concerns that the spread of a new coronavirus would impact oil demand from China.

Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest oil producer, is leading talks with the rest of the group and Russia for a further reduction in oil supply and an extension of the current reduction pact due to an foreseen slowdown in demand growth due to the virus. 

Aramco raised the price of Arab Light to Northwestern Europe, setting it at a discount of $2.25 a barrel to ICE Brent, up $1.80 per barrel from the previous month.

It set the Arab Light price to the United States at a premium of $3.25 a barrel versus ASCI, down 30 cents from February.

Saudi term crude supplies to the United States are priced as a differential to the Argus Sour Crude Index (ASCI).

(Reporting by Rania El Gamal and Nafisa Eltahir; Editing by Jason Neely and Edmund Blair) ((rania.elgamal@thomsonreuters.com; +971 562 160 434; Reuters Messaging: rania.elgamal.reuters.com@reuters.net ; Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rania_ElGamal))

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