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Saudi Arabia expected to raise February crude prices for Asia

January 26/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia is expected to raise its official selling prices (OSPs) for Asian buyers for a second straight month in February, tracking stronger benchmark prices and product cracks, reported The Economic Times with reference to a Reuters survey.

Three sources at Asian refiners expect the February OSP for the flagship grade Arab Light to rise by 33 cents a barrel on average, with their forecasts ranging between an increase of 30 cents and 40 cents.

In December strong spot crude purchases pushed up the average differentials to Dubai swaps for the cash Dubai and DME Oman benchmarks by about 41 cents and 17 cents a barrel respectively from last month, data compiled by Reuters showed on Wednesday.

Asia's cracks for a range of oil products - naphtha, gasoil , jet fuel and fuel oil , strengthened this month on improved demand.

Asia's gasoline crack, however, has dipped recently on concerns that restored mobility restrictions to combat a new coronavirus variant would dent near-term demand.

Saudi crude OSPs are usually released around the fifth of each month and set the trend for Iranian, Kuwaiti and Iraqi prices, affecting more than 12 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude bound for Asia.

State oil giant Saudi Aramco sets its crude prices based on recommendations from customers and after calculating the change in the value of its oil over the past month, based on yields and product prices.

Saudi Aramco officials, as a matter of policy, do not comment on the kingdom's monthly OSPs.

As MRC informed earlier, top oil exporter Saudi Arabia has cut supplies of February-loading crude for some Asian buyer by up to a quarter while meeting requirements of at least four others.

We remind that in October 2019, McDermott International announced that it had been awarded a contract by Saudi Aramco and Total Raffinage Chimie (Total) for their joint venture (JV) Amiral steam cracker project at Jubail, Saudi Arabia. Amiral is a JV in which Aramco holds 62.5% and Total the rest. The plant, designed to produce 1.5 million metric tons/year (MMt/y) of ethylene, will be one of the world's largest mixed-feed crackers.

Aramco and Total launched their USD5-billion Amiral JV project in October 2018. The steam cracker will be fed with a mixture of 50% ethane and refinery off-gases. It will supply ethylene to a downstream 1 MMt/y polyethylene manufacturing complex and other petrochemical products. The project aims to fully exploit operational synergies with the adjacent refinery, owned by Satorp, another JV between Aramco and Total. Third-party investors, including Daelim and Ineos, will locate plants at the value park adjacent to Amiral with a combined investment of USD4 billion. A final investment decision is expected in 2021.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's DataScope report, PE imports to Russia decreased in January-November 2020 by 17% year on year and reached 569,900 tonnes. High density polyethylene (HDPE) accounted for the greatest reduction in imports. At the same time, PP imports into Russia increased by 21% year on year to about 202,000 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2020. Propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) accounted for the main increase in imports.

Saudi Aramco, officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, is a Saudi Arabian national oil and natural gas company based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Aramco"s value has been estimated at up to USD10 trillion in the Financial Times, making it the world"s most valuable company. Saudi Aramco has both the largest proven crude oil reserves, at more than 260 billion barrels, and largest daily oil production.


mrcplast.com
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Asia, PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, homopolymer PP, propylene, HDPE, ethylene, petrochemistry, Saudi Aramco, Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemicals Company (SATORP), Total Petrochemicals, Russia, Saudi Arabia.
Category:General News
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