August-loading condensate premiums have eased after a strong start earlier in the trade cycle as weak light distillate refining margins pressure values of the ultra-light feedstock.
Singapore gasoline refining margins to Dubai crude have averaged $9.82 per barrel in June, down from the monthly average of $9.95 in May. Naphtha refining margins have also averaged $57.83 per tonne in June, down from $61.20 last month.
Trade for August-loading Australian North West Shelf (NWS) condensate was brisk earlier in the trading cycle because of demand from Indonesia’s TPPI condensate splitter.
*MUDA: Petronas and Thailand’s PTT jointly sold an August-loading Muda condensate to South Korea’s SK at a premium in the mid-$1.00 to dated Brent via tender this week. The premium for the 300,000-barrel cargo, which is due for Aug. 24-30 loading, eased from July’s deal level in the high-$1.00 to the benchmark.
*CAKERAWALA: Petronas and PTT also jointly awarded their Cakerawala condensate tender to South Korean petrochemical producer Hanwha Total at a premium around $3 per barrel to dated Brent, steady to slightly firmer than July-loading deal levels. Market participants had expected August Cakerawala premiums to ease in line with the weakness seen in Muda and light distillate refining margins.
*IRPC TENDER: Awards of the sweet crude import tender have yet to be finalised as validity for offers expire on June 22. The Rayong-based refiner is seeking Aug. 15-September delivery sweet crude.
*Thailand will announce the winning bids for concessions for the Erawan and Bongkot natural gas fields in February next year, the country’s energy ministry said on Thursday. The Erawan gas concession, operated by Chevron Corp, and the Bongkot gas concession, operated by state-backed PTT Exploration and Production PCL, will expire in 2022 and 2023, respectively.
*Sakhalin Energy has sold five cargoes loading in late August to September at $1-$1.60 a barrel above Dubai quotes, steady to higher premiums from last month.
*Russian ESPO premiums held steady. Trafigura has sold ESPO cargoes loading in the first 10 days of August at 70-80 cents a barrel above Dubai quotes. Gazprom may have sold a cargo for loading on Aug. 3-13 at a premium of 80-90 cents.
*Brent’s premium to Dubai swaps was at $0.71 per barrel, down 9 cents for August.
*Sinopec Corp’s Shijiazhuang refinery will shut down its 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) crude unit from July 1 for a planned overhaul that lasts until mid-August, according to a company official.
*Japanese refiner Fuji Oil Co said it restarted its sole 143,000-barrels-per-day (bpd) crude distillation unit (CDU) at its Sodegaura refinery, east of Tokyo, as planned after scheduled maintenance.
*Australian fuel supplier Caltex Australia said it expects underlying half-yearly net profit to rise as much as 22 percent as it benefited from higher refiner margins and bigger volumes of premium diesel sales.
OPEC, NON-OPEC NEWS
*Saudi Arabia’s decision to reverse some of last year’s austerity measures coincides with a renewed decline in oil prices and complicates the financial and economic outlook for the kingdom.
*Crude oil’s bear market is highlighting the haves and have nots among U.S. shale producers, with the stronger promising to keep pumping even as prospects dim for some of their financially strapped peers.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Mark Tay and Olga Yagova, editing by David Evans)