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Regional News

June Middle East crude trading on hold in Asia due to delayed OSPs

Spot trading of June-loading Middle East sour crude cargoes is virtually on hold halfway through the month as market participants in Asia lie in wait for official selling prices from producers, these sources told S&P Global Platts Monday morning.

"Hard to trade anything with no OSPs and no knowledge of production levels as well," a crude trader with a Chinese trading firm said Monday morning.
Official selling prices, typically issued by Middle East producers in the first few days of the month, had been pushed back as producers grappled to address production cuts as part of a 23-nation OPEC+ alliance over the past couple of weeks.
The countries finally agreed to a 9.7 million b/d coordinated production cut over May and June late Sunday night, after negotiations dragged on for days.
With the challenging OPEC+ discussions out of the way, traders expect Saudi Aramco to take the lead in issuing official selling prices sometime on Monday, with other producers to follow.
"I've not yet seen the Saudi OSPs, probably [will be issued] today [Monday]," a market source with a refiner said.
The producer is expected to cut OSPs by $1/b to $4/b in step with declines in Middle East crude spreads over March, a Platts survey of OSP expectations revealed earlier this month.
But the current environment, clouded by political implications, low demand and a fight for market share among the same countries that agreed to a coordinated production cut late Sunday carries an element of uncertainty for official selling prices, traders said.
Other producers such as UAE's Abu Dhabi and Qatar Petroleum are likely to wait for Saudi Aramco to make the first move in order to suss out how much to cut prices for their own grades, market participants said.
"Everyone is waiting for Saudi" to issue their prices first, a third trader said, adding that "Qatar Petroleum clearly mentioned they will issue [OSPs] after Saudi."
Once OSPs from all producers are issued, refineries will then run linear programming models for various Middle East crude grades, traders said.
"The refinery has to wait for LP after OSPs come out," a fourth trader added.
The whole process, from OSP issuance, to determining June buy-side requirements, may take a week. Nominations for term contracted volumes will likely also take place simultaneously, they said.
Spot trading is expected to kick off after, which would leave barely two weeks for the market to wrap up June requirements before sliding into the next cycle.
Source: SP Global
Asian crude traders optimistic for June trading as OPEC+ cuts production

Benchmark Dubai crude futures gained ground in midmorning trading hours in Asia Monday, shortly after marathon OPEC+ talks, which began Thursday via webinar, concluded late Sunday night with the 23-member coalition agreeing to 9.7 million b/d production cuts through May and June this year.

At 11 am (0300 GMT) Monday morning in Singapore, June Dubai futures were pegged at $34.48/b, 6% higher than the $32.52/b assessed at Thursday's close of trading in Asia.
The June Brent/Dubai Exchange Futures for Swaps, which had recently flipped into a premium for Brent futures over Dubai, slid back into negative territory as Dubai gains outpaced a muted reaction in Brent futures over the OPEC+ cuts announcement.
As of 11 am in Singapore, June Brent futures were pegged at $32.85/b, barely moving from the 12:30 pm (0430 GMT) level at $32.93/b assessed on Thursday.
The June Brent/Dubai EFS was pegged at minus $1.63/b Monday morning, down from 41 cents/b assessed at Thursday's Asian close.
Traders of Middle East crude in Asia sounded hopeful that spot price differentials of June loading cargoes would receive a boost following the production cuts, after prices slid into deep discounts over the past few months as demand lagged several million b/d behind oversupply in the region.
Spot price differentials of key crude grades traded in Asia, such as Abu Dhabi's Murban, may climb up from current valuations that peg the grade below $2/b versus its official selling price, said traders.
"ADNOC adjusted production [after OPEC cut] would go from 4.1 million b/d to 2.4 million b/d," said a source with equity in the emirate's crude production of Murban.
"Of course, we need to see OSPs but [the value could go up to] discounts of around $1/b," the source added.
However, several other crude market participants said they would rather wait for Middle East producers to release OSPs for the current cycle before commenting on the direction for spot prices this month.
The Middle East sour crude market in Asia will trade cargoes loading in June from the Persian Gulf. Trading is expected to kick off next week, after delays in the release of OSPs while OPEC+ talks carried on in recent days.
Saudi Arabia, OPEC's largest producer and the world's biggest crude exporter, will hold its output at 8.5 million b/d, down almost 30% from the record 12 million b/d it said it was producing this month.
The kingdom is expected to take the lead in issuing OSPs for its term customers in Asia, Europe and Americas for May loading cargoes, with most market participants expecting Saudi OSPs to be announced sometime on Monday.
Source: SP Global
GP Global expands European supply network at Port of Hamburg

GP Global has further strengthened its international bunkering network with the addition of new delivery infrastructure, supplying the port of Hamburg, Germany. Expanding their geographical supply reach in the ‘North Western’ market, GP Global will be supplying Marpol and IMO 2020 compliant Marine Gasoil, all overseen by GP Global’s Rotterdam office.

With a global network of bunker trading offices accross London, Geneva, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, and Houston in The Americas, complemented by representatives in Lagos, Dar el Salaam, Nairobi, Delhi and Shanghai, the expansion into supplying Hamburg compliments GP Global’s current portfolio of supply locations as the group continues to grow.
Leading the operation in Hamburg is Peter Beelenkamp, who will be reporting directly Chris Todd, Head of Bunkers, West of Suez. Before joining GP Global in 2019 as Lead - Hamburg Bunkers, Peter headed the European Division of SK Energy focusing on their ARA operations and brings a breadth of experience to the role.
GP Global’s Jt. Managing Director, Prerit Goel, said: “As the bunkering landscape continues to shift into new directions, supplying for Hamburg Port is a testament to the success the company has achieved across its business units, in the face of a challenging global economic climate. The Hamburg market has long been on our radar and we are very excited about the added value GP Global will be bringing to what has long been a static market.”
Chris Todd, Head of Bunkering, West of the Suez at GP Global, added: “Being a neighbouring port to Rotterdam, the setup of our new Hamburg operation is a great fit for our further expansion into the North Western market, and the world. Our bunkering division continues to go from strength to strength as we continue to add new physical supply ports as well as new offices and talented individuals to portfolio of locations West of Suez.”
This announcement follows GP Global’s recent expansion of their trading operations into the America’s with the appointment of Mr Gene Owen as President of Trading. Reporting to the company’s senior management in Rotterdam and based out of Houston, Texas, Mr Owen is focusing on building a local team, establishing significant relationships and utilising his critical regional market insight to drive new opportunities for the Company.
Source: Oil Price
Saudi Aramco slashes selling prices to Asia for second month after historic OPEC+ deal

Saudi Aramco again slashed official selling prices for its crude headed to Asia for a second consecutive month, even after marathon talks that led to the historic output cut by OPEC and other nations, according to a pricing letter seen by S&P Global Platts.

Aramco set the OSP differential for its Arab Light crude headed to Asia at minus $7.30/b against the average of Dubai and Oman crude assessments over May. That’s down by $4.20/b, and compares with an expected reduction of $2-$3/b, according to a Platts survey of traders.
OPEC and other producers on Sunday night agreed to production cuts of 9.7 million b/d over May and June, with staggered cuts in the months to follow. The 23-nation alliance was able to re-establish production cuts after OPEC and allies couldn’t come to a deal in March.
This is Saudi Arabia’s second consecutive monthly price cut after it slashed crude prices by $5-$8/b for April loading crude last month.
Aramco set the OSP differentials for its Arab Extra Light, Medium and Heavy crudes headed to Asia in May at the same level of minus $7.40/b, crunching quality premiums for its lighter crude grades against heavier ones.
Its May OSP differential for Arab Super Light was set at minus $3.65/b, down $5.50/b from the April OSP for Asia.
Overall, Aramco cut its Asia OSPs by $2.95/b to $5.50/b from April to May, according to the letter. Traders expected cuts for all shipments to Asia by $1-$4/b, the Platts survey showed.
MIXED BAG FOR EUROPE
Aramco kept the Arab Light OSP differential for cargoes headed to Northwest Europe unchanged from April, at a discount of $10.25/b over ICE Brent for May. The state-owned company cut the price of Europe Arab Extra Light by 80 cents/b from April to minus $8.90/b for May.
Meanwhile, it hiked the Europe OSPs for Arab Medium and Arab Heavy by $2/b each from April, to discounts of $10.60/b and $11/b for May.
Saudi Aramco issued price hikes for all of its grades headed to the US in May. Its OSP differential for Arab Extra Light was set at a premium of 40 cents/b to the Argus Sour Crude Index (ASCI), up $2.50/b from April, while Arab Light was up $3/b to minus 75 cents/b for May. The Arab Medium OSP differential was raised $4/b from April to minus $1.55/b in May, and the Arab Heavy OSP differential for the US was upped $4.20/b from April to minus $2.10/b in May.
Source: Hellenic Shipping
Saudi energy minister says effective global oil cuts above 19 million bpd

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said on Monday that effective global oil supply cuts would amount to around 19.5 million barrels per day, taking into account the reduction pact agreed by OPEC+, pledges by other G20 nations and oil purchases into reserves.

OPEC and allies led by Russia, a group known as OPEC+, agreed on Sunday to a record cut in output to prop up oil prices amid the coronavirus pandemic in an unprecedented deal with fellow oil nations, including the United States, that could curb global oil supply by 20%.
Measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus have destroyed demand for fuel and driven down oil prices, straining budgets of oil producers and hammering the U.S. shale industry, which is more vulnerable to low prices due to its higher costs.
OPEC+ said it had agreed to reduce output by 9.7 million bpd for May and June, after four days of talks and following pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to arrest the oil price decline.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told reporters via a conference call that G20 nations outside the OPEC+ alliance had pledged to cut about 3.7 million bpd of oil supply, while oil purchases into reserves (SPRs) were seen at 200 million barrels over the next couple of months, according to the IEA.
Prince Abdulaziz also said the kingdom could cut oil output below its current quota of 8.5 million bpd if there was a need by the market over the coming months and if any reductions were done collectively with other producers on a pro-rata basis.
OPEC+ meets next in June via teleconference to decide on output policy.
“We have to watch what is happening with demand destruction or demand improvement, depending on how things may evolve,” Prince Abdulaziz said.
“This is a situation where every day the numbers change … you have to maintain being vigilant about how these things may progress,” he said, adding there was still “uncertainty related with the virus and its impact”.
The biggest oil cut ever is more than four times deeper than the previous record cut in 2008. Producers will slowly relax curbs after June, although reductions in production will stay in place until April 2022.
Oil demand has dropped by around a third because of the coronavirus pandemic. Oil prices jumped more than $1 a barrel in Monday trading after the agreement, but gains were capped amid concern that it would not be enough to head off oversupply with the virus hammering global demand.
But the minister downplayed the drop in oil prices on Monday, saying that the cuts were the reason for the rally in oil prices before the meeting in anticipation of the cuts.
“It’s the typical deal you know: buy the rumour, and sell the news.”
Source: Hellenic Shipping
Chemical tanker briefly detained in Iranian waters: UKMTO

A chemical tanker which was attacked by armed men Tuesday and taken to Iranian waters has now been released, according to a notice by the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), which monitors maritime security in the region.

Maritime security consultancy Dryad Global said it had identified the SC Taipei as the likely “tanker” which had been boarded by armed men whilst at anchor.
Data from Platts trade flow service cFlow show that SC Taipei, which can hold a 20,000 mt cargo, was in Fujairah, UAE, before the ship diverted to the southwest tip of Iran’s coast.
The UKMTO confirmed later Tuesday that the tanker has been released and “is now under the control of the master,” adding that the ship and crew are safe.
The tanker was on its way to Jubail in Saudi Arabia, home to two oil refineries, before changing path to go to Iran, and is now just west of the Iranian port of Bandar e-Jask.
The SC Taipei was previously carrying a cargo of a petrochemical called styrene monomer, which is a key component in making plastics, cFlow data showed.
Representatives at Iran’s oil ministry declined to comment on the incident.
The UKMTO said it is still monitoring the situation and advised all vessels in the vicinity to stay “vigilant” and “exercise caution.”
“Details regarding this event remain fluid and it is currently unclear whether the vessel is in distress or is being assisted by Iran in some way,” said Dryad Global in a report, adding that “her current location does not correspond with any known commercial activity in the region.”
A representative at Fantasea Ship Management Pte. Ltd which operates the tanker was unavailable for comment.
TANKER INCIDENTS
This incident comes almost nine months after attacks on Saudi oil infrastructure and after a number of tanker-related incidents in the Strait of Hormuz chokepoint in 2019 and 2018, which raised geopolitical risks in the world’s biggest oil producing basin.
Ship operators in the Middle East have been on high alert, and insurance rates have soared since tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman last year. The US has blamed Iran for the attacks, although Iran denies responsibility. Tensions escalated after the US pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, re-imposing sanctions on the country.
Iran has repeatedly issued threats to close or disrupt traffic through the Strait of Hormuz, should US sanctions block its oil shipments.
Source: Hellenic Shipping
Oil product stocks climb to highest since record in February

Volumes of oil products held in storage at Fujairah climbed to their highest since the all-time high seen in February as tumbling demand from the coronavirus pandemic left more supplies in the eastern UAE port.

Stocks rose 5.3% over the past week to 24.953 million barrels as of Monday, with the greatest build seen in light distillates, according to data released Wednesday by the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone. Stocks are now the highest since the record of 25.98 million barrels was set on February 24. The Fujairah stock reporting began in January 2017.
"With the demand depression caused by coronavirus, crude and oil product markets are in a steep contango structure," Alex Yap, senior analyst at S&P Global Platts Analytics in Singapore, said. "This incentivizes companies to hold oil in storage."
Light distillate inventories jumped 21% in the week to a total of 6.94 million barrels, a four-week high, the data showed. Market sources said the gasoline market East of Suez has a glut of supply due to regional travel restrictions to contain the coronavirus. Gasoline demand this month is expected to be 50% lower than normal in Saudi Arabia and 55% lower in India, the International Energy Agency said in a report Wednesday. Demand is expected to remain below normal for the next several months, reaching 40% below normal for both countries in May and 5% below normal in June, it said.
Physical 92 RON gasoline cargoes stood at a $13.20/b discount to front-month ICE Brent futures on Tuesday, a drop of $2.74/b week on week, S&P Global Platts data showed.
In middle distillates, stocks built by 15% to 2.919 million barrels, also a four-week high, the data showed. India's shaky demand for gasoil, as well as plentiful surplus volumes being pushed into the spot market, has had a negative impact on the East of Suez middle distillates market, sources said.
Stocks of heavy distillates and residues stood at 15.094 million barrels, down 2% from the record 15.445 million set a week earlier. Bunker traders in Fujairah said they saw an uptick in demand this week. "Demand is good and we are getting orders for 20,000 mt to 30,000 mt," a bunker trader said.Platts is the official publisher of the oil products data and Fujairah has the Middle East's largest commercial storage capacity for refined oil products.
Source: SP Global
Unsold May Al-Shaheen cargoes seen weighing on June Qatari crude tender, OSPs

An overhang of unsold May Al-Shaheen crude cargoes from last month's trading cycle is likely to weigh on the ongoing crude tender for the medium-heavy crude grade, market participants told S&P Global Platts Wednesday.

"There are a lot of unsold Al-Shaheen [cargoes] from May," a source at an Asian refinery told Platts.
The overhang of May cargoes -- which were initially offered to buyers in the Middle East crude market in March -- have added supply pressure to incoming June-loading cargoes of Al-Shaheen crude that will be offered on the spot market through April.
An initial offer for two June-loading Al-Shaheen cargoes by Qatar -- the country where the crude is produced -- is likely to see tender participants put in lower bids while taking into account the existing surplus on the spot market available to them.
Results from the "June QP tender will be out today but this may be under pressure from the unsold May cargoes," the source added.
Separately, a June-loading cargo of the grade was reportedly picked up by a North Asian refiner Wednesday, at discounts of around $8.50/b to Platts front-month Dubai crude assessments.
By comparison, tendered cargoes of May loading Al-Shaheen crude were sold at an average of minus $3.07/b against Dubai last month.
Falling Asian demand for crude oil between March and April, combined with a spike in Middle East production over March have caused the market in-equilibrium between excess supply and low demand to widen. As a result, the underlying market structure for Middle East crude has declined sharply between March and April.
The prompt cash Dubai's discount to futures, which averaged minus $3.11/b over March, widened to minus $9.27/b to date in April, Platts records showed Wednesday.
Low bids for Marine and Land cargoes
Qatar has also offered a cargo each of its Land and Marine crudes via the latest tender, in addition to two 500,000 barrel clips of Al-Shaheen crude.
Low demand and a sinking structure for Middle East crude are likely to prompt tender participants to post very low bids for the Qatar Land and Marine cargoes as well, said market sources.
At least two market participants said bids for the two grades could go down to near minus $10/b levels, in line with the current Dubai cash/futures spread. The spread was assessed at minus $10.27/b on Tuesday at the 0830 GMT Asian close.
"We should see very low levels on the QP tender," said a trader based in Singapore Wednesday.
Given the low market structure, "there is definitely a lot of pressure on these cargoes" offered for the June loading cycle, the refinery-linked source added.
The tender, which closed April 14, is valid until Wednesday, with results expected to be announced later this evening in Asia.
Pressure on Qatari OSPs
Deep discounts fetched for Qatar's Land and Marine cargoes in the tender could have bearish implications for the country's official selling prices, which are yet to be announced for the latest cycle, said market participants.
"Seems Qatar will need to be more aggressive [on OSP cuts] to push their barrels this month," a China-based source told Platts.
Some market participants mentioned that the state should have issued its official selling prices prior to its tender, which would have allowed it to set prices at a competitive level against heavy price cuts issued by Saudi Aramco earlier this week.
"This will not be good for their OSP, to have it issued after the tender," the first source said.
"Now if they get a [low] bid on Qatar Marine or Qatar Land [in the tender], the OSP is going to be more towards that," the second trader added.
Qatar will issue official selling prices for May loading crude exports this month. The state recently switched its price methodology from a retrospective method of setting OSPs to a forward-looking one, with official selling price differentials set against the average of Platts Dubai and Oman crude assessments each month.
Source: SP Global
India lockdown: Extension unsettles oil and gas, shipping markets

India's move to extend a countrywide lockdown in its battle against the coronavirus pandemic will not only create more hurdles for trade flows, but also would prompt refiners to cut runs further and reduce the country's appetite for LNG imports.

A 21-day lockdown started March 25 and was due to end on April 14, but Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Tuesday that a further extension until May 3 was needed to stem the spread of COVID-19.
S&P Global Platts Analytics expects oil demand to contract by 405,000 b/d year on year in the second quarter before posting positive growth in H2, taking the whole year demand decline to 110,000 b/d year on year.
And on the gas side, the lockdown extension would impact Indian LNG demand and put imports at risk of falling below year-earlier Q2 levels at 93 Mcm/d, according to Platts Analytics.
Trade flows
Oil
India has restricted cargo movements on coasts but allowed oil and gas cargoes to be unloaded after clearance of COVID-19 quarantine protocols by port authorities, as oil and gas fall under essential commodities.
Indian refineries have already received all crude shipments they require for processing over the next several weeks. Except for strategic reserves, they are not making any large purchase commitments because of weak demand.
Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. has received a 1-million-barrel cargo of US crude at Mumbai port after port authorities cleared the Suezmax ship.
IOC, BPCL, HPCL, and MRPL are looking to buy up to 19 million mt of crude in April, mainly from Saudi Arabia, UAE and Iraq, for strategic reserves.
IOC has received the first cargo of 1 million barrels of Upper Zakum crude from UAE at Mangalore. A VLCC is currently being chartered by UAE's ADNOC for loading another cargo, to be delivered next month. The cargo is expected to go in for strategic reserves.
Every week, more than a dozen cargoes of gasoil, gasoline and jet fuel of 35,000 mt-90,000 mt each are being loaded at ports of Sikka and Vadinar for exports. India is a major supplier of these commodities to Europe and Africa, and some volumes are also delivered in Singapore for storage.
Gas
During the initial lockdown duration from March 24-April 14, 19 LNG ships, with total volume of 1.232 million mt, discharged across Hazira, Dahej, Mundra, Dabhol and Kochi LNG terminals, down 23% from the three weeks preceding the lockdown, Platts Analytics data showed.
India had been one of the main bright spots for LNG demand this year, with first quarter imports up by an average of 29 Mcm/d over 2019 levels, but deliveries at Indian regasification terminals have started falling in April to close to last year's levels.
Infrastructure
Oil
Following advisory issued by India's shipping ministry, all major ports have considered the pandemic as a valid ground for invoking the force majeure clause on port activities and operations.
IOC, HPCL and MRPL have invoked force majeure clauses on some of their suppliers.
Crude imported to fill up strategic reserves has been allowed to be offloaded at ports on both the east and the west coasts, subject to fulfillment of quarantine protocol by port authorities.
Pipeline discharge has not been affected at any of the Indian ports. Tanker operations are normal.
Gas
Downstream demand for gas has fallen, with little or no demand from the transportation sector. Only essential industries, such as fertilizers and refineries, are operational but refinery operating rates are down by at least 30%-40% from prelockdown levels.
State-run LNG importer Petronet has issued force majeure notice to its spot suppliers, citing downtrend in local demand.
Upstream companies like ONGC and Cairn have managed to keep their operations running but have witnessed about a 10%-15% fall in oil and gas output due to shortage of workers.
Shipping
To maintain proper supply chain at seaports, shipping companies or carriers and their agents have been asked by the government not to charge, levy or recover any demurrage or ground rent beyond the allowed free period, as well as storage charges at ports during the lockdown period.
Ports have been struggling due to shortage of workers to move cargoes, particularly for dry bulk shipments. In addition, the movement of trucks is very slow at some ports.
Ships arriving from COVID-19 infected countries can only be berthed in India 14 days after their departure from their port of origin. Stoppage time spent on the way, for bunkering at a port of any such infected country, will not be counted in this calculation.
Prices
Oil
India's crude basket averaged $33.36/b in March, down 39% from February and 50% lower than a year earlier.
Retail diesel prices in New Delhi were around Rupees 62.29/l, while gasoline was quoted at Rupees 69.59/l. There has been no major change in diesel and gasoline retail prices since prelockdown levels.
Gas
In an oversupplied spot LNG market, the imposition of the lockdown in the country has tightened its bearish grip on the market, with the DES West India assessment collapsing 35% from March 24 to an all-time low at $2/MMBtu on April 1.
Shipping
At least a dozen LR2 tankers have been taken with an option for floating storage of gasoil and jet fuel, mostly near Singapore for up to six months, taking away a substantial part of supply from the spot market. A significant portion of these volumes under storage are being purchased from India.
The strong demand to load distillate cargoes from India have pushed up the LR freight rates to their highest levels so far this year, above the key psychological mark of 200 Worldscale points. Earnings of LR owners on the benchmark Persian Gulf-North Asia routes have risen to $55,000/d.
The LR2 spot freight rates on the India-Western Europe routes have risen to a six-month high at above $4.5 million.
Source: SP Global
Middle East crude differentials hit fresh lows after OSP cuts

Spreads for a range of Middle East crude grades sank to fresh record lows at the end of the Platts Market on Close assessment process in Asia Thursday, with the trading outlook for the June cycle looking bearish despite producers slashing official selling prices.

June cash Murban's spread against June Dubai futures was assessed at minus $10.13/b at 4:30 pm in Singapore (0830 GMT) Thursday, the lowest assessment since Platts began publishing it in July 2018.
Murban, a key light sour grade for the Asian spot market, flipped to a discount against Dubai paper for the first time ever on March 9 as product margins for light-ends sank with the emergence and spread of the coronavirus across Asia.
Since then, the grade has maintained its discount to Dubai futures. The spread averaged minus $1.74/b over March, for May-loading Murban assessed by Platts. But with oil demand predicted by the International Energy Agency to fall 29 million b/d on the year in April, crack spreads for products from the light sour crude, such as naphtha, gasoline and jet fuel, are set to slide further. As a result, the crude's spread against Dubai futures has plummeted this month, averaging minus $8.87/b so far in April.
Spot market demand for other Middle East crude grades has not fared much better this week. Qatari medium-heavy Al-Shaheen crude fetched discounts of around $10.40/b against Platts front-month Dubai crude assessments in a spot market tender that concluded late Wednesday, according to market participants.
The grade was assessed at a discount of $10.88/b against June Dubai futures Thursday, also marking the lowest on record.
In Thursday's MOC a total of 14 partials changed hands for Dubai and Oman, bringing the total count for the month so far to 64. Of these, 48 are Dubai and 16 are Oman partials for June.
Each partial is 25,000 barrels in size. A convergence occurs when 20 partials are traded between two counterparties, resulting in a full, 500,000-barrel physical cargo being declared from the seller to the buyer.
For Dubai partials, the seller has the option to deliver a Dubai, Oman, Upper Zakum, Al-Shaheen or, with a quality premium, Murban cargo to the buyer.
For Oman partials, the seller has the option to deliver Oman, or, with a quality premium, a Murban cargo to the buyer.
Source: SP Global
Some refineries in Africa halt on coronavirus

--Chad's Ndjamena refinery in Djarmaya temporarily suspended processing activities because of overproduction.

--The Engen refinery at Durban, South Africa, shut down temporarily from March 27 "due to forecast lower demand for petroleum products during the national lockdown."
--Sasol's Natref refinery in South Africa suspended operations from Thursday April 9 until further notice as the lockdown in South Africa which started on March 27 "has caused an unprecedented decline in fuel demand." Sasol also said that due to the steep decline in fuels demand, it will also reduce daily production rates by 25% at its synthetic fuels facility, known as Secunda Synfuels Operations.
--South Africa's largest refinery, Sapref, said it will adjust its production rates according to market demand.
--Meanwhile, the refinery in Pointe Noire, Republic of Congo, has been operating at over 80% of its capacity in the past few weeks, a source close to the matter said. "The refinery is running quite well. The flow rate is around 22,000-26,000 b/d," the source said. "Some of the recent limitations were related to the quantity of crude we receive from the government." The refinery runs on Congolese crudes such as Djeno, N'Kossa and Yombo.
Near term and future maintenance
New and revised entries
--Algeria's Skikda is planning maintenance in May, according to trading sources.
--The refinery in Pointe Noire, Republic of Congo, will go into turnaround in 2021 but dates have not been finalized.
Existing entries
--Sudan's Khartoum refinery is set to carry out works from around mid-September, CITAC Africa reported. The works will last around 75 days.
--Zambia's Indeni refinery was offline and undergoing a one-month maintenance program, a spokesman said in late March. "The current turnaround started on Friday March 20 and is expected to last until April 23," the spokesman told S&P Global Platts. "During this period, maintenance works will be undertaken, as well as regeneration of the Reformer catalyst." The last turnaround program was in October/November 2018. "The reason for the prolonged run was that during the turnaround of 2018 we replaced the reformer reactors with bigger ones," the spokesman said. "The new reactors can hold a larger volume of catalyst, facilitating a longer run as well as operations at higher temperatures."
--Senegal's sole refinery located in Dakar is having some production problems, according to market sources. Last year it stopped processing due to lack of crude. The Dakar refinery has plans to increase its capacity to 1.5 million mt a year.
--Cameroon's Limbe refinery, which suffered from a fire at the end of May 2019, remains offline, according to sources. Local media reported the restart is not expected until 2021. During a Russia-Africa summit officials said that Russian companies could get involved in the reconstruction of the plant.
--South Africa's Cape Town refinery, known as Caltex, is currently undergoing maintenance which will last until mid-April, according to market sources. In September 2018, Astron Energy acquired a majority stake in the former Chevron refinery.
--Libya's Zawiya oil refinery has been forced to shut as domestic oil output has plunged due to a blockade which began on January 18, state-owned National Oil Corp. said. Both CDUs, each with 60,000 b/d capacity, have been affected. In late December, the refinery was the target of an air strike but the refinery has been operating at around 60,000 b/d over the past six months, with only one of its crude distillation units operating.
--Libya's Ras Lanuf remains offline without any timeline for its restart. The refinery was shut in 2013.
Upgrades
New and revised entries
--The refinery in Pointe Noire, Republic of Congo, has delayed its upgrade program until 2022 due to a lack of funds, which had included plans to build a fluid catalytic cracker. The objective behind the expansion was to reduce its current production of fuel oil from 40% and to meet cleaner fuels standards.
Existing entries
--The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) approved in November a $50 million loan for an upgrade of Egypt's Suez refinery aimed at introducing cleaner fuel and reducing CO2 emissions. It was the second loan after a $200 million loan by the EBRD signed in May 2018, which was aimed to "increase the flexibility of the plant's crude intake and allow for the production of higher quality fuels and lower sulfur fuels."
--Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. said it planned full rehabilitation of all four of its refineries in January for completion in 2022. Nigeria's refineries, which include the northern Kaduna refinery, Warri refinery and the two plants located in Port Harcourt, have operated below capacity due to years of neglect. The first phase of the upgrades was announced in March 2019, with Italy's Maire Tecnimont hired to handle initial scoping of the 210,000 b/d Port Harcourt refinery complex, with oil major Eni appointed as technical adviser. Full repair work on all 4 plants will start in January 2020. Tecnimont will handle the remainder of the repair work needed for Port Harcourt, while Kyari did not name the contractors that will handle the overhaul of Kaduna and Warri refineries.
--Following recent upgrades, run rates at Zambia's Indeni refinery have risen sharply. Because of these upgrades, the refinery is unlikely to require extensive maintenance until 2022, although minor outages to facilitate routine servicing of equipment may be required. The refinery last underwent maintenance in October 2018. The government began the process of selling the refinery in late 2017. Privately owned Sahara Group said it is hoping to buy a 70% stake in the state-owned refinery.
--Italy's Kinetics Technology has been awarded a contract to build a fluid catalytic cracker at Angola's sole oil refinery in Luanda. The unit would take around two and half years to complete. Sonangol is working with Eni for the refurbishment of the Luanda plant. The construction of the fluid catalytic cracker at the Luanda refinery will enable it to produce 1,200 mt/day of gasoline, up from current output of 380 mt/day. The unit is expected to come online mid-2021.
--The expansion program at Egypt's state-owned Middle East Oil Refinery (Midor) near Alexandria, is on track for 2022, which will push capacity to 160,000 b/d. Once the revamp is complete, the refinery will produce Euro 5 specification refined products. EGPC is in the midst of expanding other refineries, including the upgrade of Assiut by the Nile in Middle Egypt, which was expected to be complete by April 2020. The upgrade at Assiut includes the installation of 880,000 mt/year continuous catalytic reforming and isomerization complex, a 400,000 mt/year vapor recovery unit and 2.3 million mt/year hydrocracker.
--Cote d'Ivoire's SIR has secured a Eur577 million ($657 million) debt financing deal from Africa Finance Corporation, or AFC, which will help fund the upgrade of the refinery.
--The Republic of Congo's refinery in Pointe Noire is planning to build a fluid catalytic cracker before 2022.
--Senegal's Dakar refinery is planning to increase capacity to 1.5 million mt/year.
Launches
Existing entries
--Angola's oil ministry has postponed the announcement of the winner of the Soyo refinery tender due to the coronavirus outbreak. The winner of the tender for building the refinery will be announced after the coronavirus outbreak is controlled, according to local media reports. The company to build the new Soyo refinery was due to be announced in March. Out of 31 interested companies, 15 have submitted bids in a tender for the construction of Soyo, the country's ANGOP news agency reported previously. Nine of the bids have been validated. The tender was launched in October. The refinery is expected to be completed in about three to four years. The selected company or joint venture will finance the construction of the plant on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis. The new plant, along with ones under consideration in Lobito in Benguela province and in Cabinda, is part of the government's plan to transform its downstream sector. This also involves refurbishing the refinery in Luanda.
--Safinat, the main investor and implementer of the Bentiu refinery project in South Sudan, said that the refinery has not started yet. Construction of the refinery in the Unity oil field started in August 2013 and precommissioning and production began in 2014, although it was subsequently damaged during military action. Restoration works on the site started in December 2018 but it was dependent on assistance from the government to minimize risks. South Sudan officials had previously said they expected the refinery to be operational in 2019.
--Nigeria's Dangote, set to be Africa's biggest refinery at 650,000 b/d plant, has completed 75% of its construction and remained on track to start processing crude by early 2021, company officials said. The plant, being built by Nigerian conglomerate Dangote Group, will use Nigerian crude. Officials said that the arrival of key components of the refinery late last year, after initial delays, had bolstered confidence that construction will be complete by end-2020. "Construction work on the refinery has hit 75% completion. The port terminal is ready and we have begun installation of the key fluid catalytic cracking unit," an official said. The fluid catalytic cracker, built by Sinopec, was delivered to the refinery last December, the official said. Work on the refinery, initially billed to come on stream in 2019, had been delayed first by the scarcity of foreign exchange in Nigeria, where oil revenues fell between 2015 and 2017 on low oil prices and limited production. Construction of the Dangote refinery began in 2013.
--Completion of the Albertine Graben refinery in Uganda is on schedule for 2023, Robert Kasande, the permanent secretary at the energy ministry, said. Uganda officials said last year that completion had been pushed back to 2024, following delays in reaching agreement on prerequisites for the project's final investment decision. However, the timeline has been brought forwards after preliminary front-end engineering design studies indicated that the cost for building the plant has come down from $4 billion to $3.5 billion. One of the conditions for investors to reach a FID -- a requirement for the government to start work on product pipelines -- has also been met. The government has secured the corridor for associated infrastructure, such as a products pipeline that will run 213 km to the Buroba storage terminals. Construction of a multi-product pipeline will start in the second half of 2020, the energy ministry said in a report. The FID, which was initially planned for 2019, is now due to be finalized in the second quarter of 2020, after the development consortium concludes its FEED study, currently expected for June.
--Angola's state-owned Sonangol said the first phase of its Cabinda refinery project will be completed by 2021, starting with a capacity of 30,000 b/d. An additional 30,000 b/d capacity will be added in the second phase. Thereafter the plant will focus on improving the specifications of the refined products it yields. Sonangol signed a contract with Gemcorp Capital for the construction of a 60,000 b/d refinery in Cabinda province. In December, Sonangol terminated a contract with the United Shine consortium for the construction of this refinery. Sonangol said the contract was canceled as "the consortium has not demonstrated the ability to prepare or carry out essential activities within the agreed period."
--Sonatrach signed January 8 with the Spanish and Korean consortium Technicas Reunidas-Samsung Engineering the contract to build the new Hassi Messaoud refinery (100,000 b/d). The consortium that will build the refinery through this $ 3.7 billion contract is expected to deliver the refinery in the first half of 2024. The new refinery should enter into service in the first half of 2024. The contract includes the full performance of the refinery, including all processing and environmental units, as well as the necessary auxiliary services according to Sonatrach. The new refinery will be located at Haoud El Hamra in the Hassi Messaoud region, where the largest Algerian oil deposit is located (400,000 b/d). The petroleum products from the refinery will be adapted to European environmental standards (Euro V). Algeria has revised downwards its plans for rapid expansion of its downstream sector, abandoning its plans to build five new refineries of 5 million mt/yr and continuing with only two new projects, in Hassi Messaoud and at Tiaret.
--Equatorial Guinea plans to start construction on two modular refineries, each with a capacity of at least 20,000 b/d, by the end of 2020, the country's energy minister said. The facilities will allow the country, which currently has no oil refineries, to meet its own refined product needs and export fuels to its neighbors, Gabriel Obiang Lima told reporters. Obiang said one of the refineries will be built at the Punta Europa complex located on Bioko Island, which is home to the bulk of its gas resources. Obiang said crude for this plant will be supplied from its Zafiro and Aseng fields and it will focus on producing gasoline, gasoil, kerosene and jet fuel, he said at the time. He also said the second modular refinery project will be located on the mainland, next to its regasification plant at Cogo, and will also run local crudes.
--Nigeria hopes to have its first modular oil refinery, built in the restive Niger Delta region, come on stream in May 2020, the oil ministry said. Modular refineries are crude oil processing facilities with capacities of up to 30,000 b/d and these are being built as part of plans to curb oil theft and promote peace in the country's main oil producing region. According to the ministry, the Waltersmith Modular Refinery in Ohaji/Egbema, in southern Imo state, will consume 5,000 b/d of crude in the first phase, producing gasoline and diesel. The plant's production capacity will be subsequently increased to 25,000 b/d of crude and condensate and will produce in addition LPG, kerosene and aviation fuel.
--State-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. said it hoped to take a final investment decision for its condensate refinery project by July 2020. NNPC signed the front-end engineering design for the construction of the plant -- which will be located in the Niger Delta -- with engineering firm KBR. NNPC is partnered in the project by indigenous oil producer Seplat Petroleum. NNPC first announced in August 2018 plans to build a condensate refinery with capacity to refine 200,000 b/d of the condensate oil produced by the country.
--Africa Finance Corporation has signed an agreement with Brahms Oil Refineries Ltd to co-develop a refinery and storage terminal in the West African country. The deal means AFC will work on the development and subsequent financing of a petroleum storage and associated refinery project in Kamsar, Guinea. This will include a 12,000 b/d modular refinery, a 76,000 cu m crude oil storage terminal, a 114,200 cu m storage terminal for refined products, and ancillary transportation infrastructure. Guinea currently has no refineries and is entirely dependent on imports from neighboring Ivory Coast and Senegal for its fuel needs.
--Russian state development bank VEB has signed investment cooperation deals with African organizations including on financing a refinery in Morocco. The deals were signed during a Russia-Africa Summit. VEB said the memorandum on the oil refinery in Morocco was signed with the Russian Export Group and Morocco's MYA Energy, part of the Marita Group. The refinery has a planned capacity of up to 5 million mt/year. Morocco's sole refiner Samir was forced to halt processing at the Mohammedia plant in 2015 after crude oil deliveries were delayed due to financial problems. Since then attempts to resume operations or find an investor have been unsuccessful.
--Sonaref's Joaquim de Sousa Fernandes, chairman of the executive council, said that the Lobito refinery in Angola is aimed for completion in 2025. The construction of the Lobito refinery has been frozen due to high costs. Sonangol has been under pressure to build a new refinery as it heavily depends on imports for its fuel requirements, but it canceled the Lobito project in 2016. It has indicated plans for building Lobito have been revived, for a 200,000 b/d plant.
--A consortium of Russian investors is planning a $4 billion project for a new refinery in Northern Zambia at the site of the country's aging state-owned Indeni plant.
--Russian state-owned exploration company Rosgeologia is considering building the Red Sea Coast refinery in Port Sudan, which would supply landlocked countries in Africa. Sudan had begun discussions to develop a 200,000 b/d refinery on its Red Sea coast. The project's timeline has not yet been disclosed. The only refinery currently operating in the country is the Khartoum, after the Port Sudan refinery closed in 2013 and was decommissioned.
--Nigeria has reached an agreement with neighbor Niger to build an oil refinery in a border town between Niger and Katsina state in northern Nigeria.
--Kenya is hoping to decide soon on the location for a new refinery in either Lamu or Mombasa.
--Ghana's ministry of energy is in the process of submitting a proposal to build a new refinery in Tema. It will replace the 45,000 b/d Tema Oil Refinery. Separately, the government had set its sights on building a 150,000 b/d refinery in Takoradi.
Source: SP Global
India’s Crude Oil Imports in the First Quarter of 2020 Make for An Interesting Reading

As the first data regarding crude oil in 2020 emerges, owners are looking for clues as to the future of demand, although much of it will become redundant as a result of the pandemic crisis and the global recession that’s bound to follow. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Banchero Costa said that “the COVID-19 crisis has reached India as well now, with the country going into a 21-day lockdown starting March 25th, 2020. The measures have begun affecting trade and shipping, as berthing and uploading activities are halted at some major ports. We also need to remember that India’s economy was already slowing down even before this situation started”.

“However, this has still to be reflected in the trade numbers, which for one reason or another, have actually been remarkably positive in 1Q 2020. In the first 3 months of 2020 (up to March the 30th), India imported 57.0 mln tonnes of crude oil by sea, according to vessel tracking data from Refinitiv. This represents an increase of +7.2% y-o-y, compared to the 53.2 mln tonnes imported in the same three-month period of 2019. On a single-month basis, January showed a +5.6% year-on-year increase to 18.57 mln tonnes, whilst February showed a +10.0% increase year-on-year to 18.64 mln tonnes, and March (up to March the 30th) recorded +6.1% year-onyear to a record 19.84 mln tonnes. Imports of crude from Iraq increased by +17.3% year-on-year to 13.9 mln tonnes in 1Q2020. Iraq is still the largest suppliers of crude to India, accounting now for 24% of India’s total crude imports. Shipments from the UAE surged by 35.6% year-on-year to 6.9 mln tonnes”, said the shipbroker.
According to Banchero Costa, “from Kuwait they increased by +6.3% y-o-y to 2.9 mln tonnes, and from Qatar by +97% y-o-y to 1.0 mln tonnes. Imports from Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, surprisingly declined by -6.6% y-o-y to 9.9 mln tonnes, whilst from Iran went down to zero (they were 3.6 mln tonnes in the same period last year). Shipments from West Africa went down by -4.9% y-o-y to 5.5 mln tonnes. From South America shipments went up by +16.8% y-o-y to 5.0 mln tonnes. This included 3.9 mln tonnes from Venezuela, +10% y-oy, and 1.0 mln tonnes from Brazil, +28% y-o-y. Imports to India from the USA surged again by +72% y-o-y to 2.7 mln tonnes in 1Q2020. Exports from Russia to India surged by +283 y-o-y to 2.3 mln tonnes. Looking back at last year, India’s total seaborne imports of crude oil reached 212.4 mln tonnes in the 12 months of 2019”.
The shipbroker concluded that “this represents a decline of -3.8% year-on-year, compared to the 220.8 mln tonnes imported in the whole of 2018. Last year, 61 percent of all crude shipments to India were sourced from the Arabian Gulf. Imports from Iraq increased by +6.3% year-on-year in 2019 to 48.5 mln tonnes. Shipments from Saudi Arabia to India increased by +4.5% year-onyear in 2019 to 40.4 mln tonnes. Iraq accounts for 23% of India’s crude imports, and Saudi for 19%. The biggest fall, of course, was from Iran. Volumes crashed by -79% y-o-y in 2019 to 5.4 mln t, from 25.5 mln tonnes in 2018. Imports from the USA surged by +124% y-o-y in 2019 to 10.5 mln tonnes, from 4.7 mln tonnes in 2018. In terms of ports, 68.9 mln tonnes of crude were imported in 2019 via Jamnagar (32% of India’s total), 39.2 mln t via Vadinar (18%), 29.3 mln t via Paradip (14%), 16.9 mln t Mundra, 15.7 mln t Cochin, 15.1 mln t Mumbai, 9.3 mln t New Mangalore, 8.5 mln tonnes Chennai, 7.2 mln t Vizag”, Banchero Costa said.
Source: Hellenic Shipping
UAE’s Fujairah oil storage tanks at full capacity

Storage tanks in the United Arab Emirates’ Fujairah bunkering and oil hub in the Middle East have reached full capacity for both crude and oil products, three industry and trading sources told Reuters.

Lockdowns to restrict the spread of the coronavirus have effected 3 billion people worldwide, shredding the demand outlook and leading companies to cut crude refining as storage space dwindles.
Located on the east coast of the UAE at the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz, Fujairah is one of two major ports in the region along with Oman’s Sohar and is a busy refueling point for tankers taking crude on long voyages out of the Gulf.
The Fujairah emirate is keen to boost its status as a global trading hub by increasing its port storage capacity from 10 million cubic meters to 14 million cubic meters by 2020. Traditionally, it focused on tanker fuel and refined oil products but has also expanded into crude storage in recent years.
Oil officials at Fujairah could not be reached for comment.
Tony Quinn, chief executive of Tankbank International, told Reuters that crude and product storage tanks at Fujairah are full, while Singapore’s oil product storage tanks are also nearing capacity.
“If you go back to the beginning of the year, everyone had built up their stores of low-sulphur fuels for 2020, but then the market slowed right down with a lot of stocks still in tanks,” he said.
“Most of the terminals in Singapore and the UAE had really filled up after Christmas on the back of IMO-2020 (marine fuel) stock builds and they haven’t really emptied since.”
Oil traders have been chartering supertankers with options to store oil at sea as global stocks mount and to take advantage of a widening contango market structure, when cargoes for short-term delivery are cheaper than those for later delivery.
In such instances, oil majors and trading houses charter ships to store oil they produce or buy cheaply from the market, betting they can resell at a profit when prices recover.
Abu Dhabi’s national oil company ADNOC has storage and loading facilities at Fujairah and is building new oil storage facility under the area’s mountains, with completion due this year.
Source: Hellenic Shipping
China’s Middle East crude shipments to independent refiners jump 59% in Mar

China’s independent refineries’ crude imports from the Middle East jumped 59% on the month in March, with Saudi Arabian shipments climbing to the top second place, a monthly survey by S&P Global Platts showed Friday.

The combined imports from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Oman and the UAE increased to 4.73 million mt, from a lower base of 2.98 million mt in February.
Combined imports from the Middle East accounted for about 38.8% of the total for March.
Those crude barrels from the Middle East were mainly brought in by Hengli Petrochemical, and Zhejiang Petroleum & Chemical, which account for about 66% of the total Middle Eastern grades.
Hengli Petrochemical and Zhejiang have term contracts with Saudi Aramco, making them steady buyers for those grades from Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
Shandong refineries last month also doubled their imports from the Middle East, because crude prices offered were lower than the popular ones like Lula.
Qirun Petrochemical, the leading buyer in Shandong, imported 415,000 mt from the Middle East, including Oman, Omani and KBT crudes, with half of VLCCs each.
Besides Qirun, another seven refineries also imported grades from Iraq, Oman and the UAE.
IMPORTS FROM BRAZIL, ANGOLA DIP
Imports from Brazil and Angola continued to drop in March as shipments from the Middle East rose.
Crude imports from long haul Brazil and Angola, fell by 37.1% and 33.7%, respectively, from February, with the two countries to sliding to the top fourth and fifth places last month.
Brazil and Angola were also two out of three that supplied less to China in March, among the top 10 suppliers.
Brazil and Angola used to be the top two suppliers for China’s independent refineries, together with Russia.
In the first three months of the year, total imports from Brazil and Angola dropped 17% year on year, while imports from Russia were up 15% from a year earlier.
RUSSIA REMAINS ON TOP
Russia remained the top supplier to China’s independent refineries, with 2.4 million mt of crude arriving in March, up 47.5% on the month.
This was largely due to the fact that more ESPO crude was loaded last month from Russia’s Far East, with 32 cargoes exported, up from about 27-28 in 100,000 mt cargoes in previous months.
The imports of Urals crudes from Russia saw a big jump of 95.7% on the month in March, to 994,000 mt.
Urals has become attractive since demand from Europe remained weak, and thus more barrels were sent to the East, according to sources.
ZPC, Hongrun, Hebei Xinhai Petrochemical each took one cargo of about 280,000 mt of Urals, while ChemChina took half of a VLCC last month.
ESPO remained the top grade imported by the highest number of importers at nine, followed by Lula at eight.
IMPORTS FROM NORWAY DOWN
Crudes from Norway continued to slide last month, with Johan Sverdrup and Grane Blend, both down month on month.
But still, four refineries have imported Johan Sverdrup crudes, and three have imported Grane Blend.
The Platts March survey covers crude barrels imported by 38 refineries with import quotas, as well as others without quotas, through ports mostly in the Shandong province, as well as Tianjin, Zhoushan and Dalian for the sector.
The barrels include those imported directly by the refiners, as well as cargoes bought by trading companies on behalf of the independent refiners.
The 38 refiners had been awarded a combined total of 83.96 million mt of import quotas in the first batch, accounting for 84% of the county’s total allocations for independent refineries in three batches.
Source: Hellenic Shipping
Price Collapse Halves Iraq’s Oil Revenues

Iraq saw its oil revenues cut nearly in half in March when oil prices collapsed, even though OPEC’s second-largest producer exported more barrels of crude last month than it did in February.

According to data from Iraq’s oil ministry, cited by AFP - Agence France Presse, Iraq’s crude oil sales amounted to 105 million barrels in March. For these barrels, Iraq earned a revenue of US$2.99 billion. To compare, Iraq’s February sales of 98.3 million barrels of crude oil earned OPEC’s producer almost twice that, at US$5.5 billion.
The federal government of Iraq sold its 3.390 million bpd of oil exports at an average price of $32.73 a barrel, Iraq Oil Report quoted the oil ministry as saying.
Iraq’s oil typically trades at around $4 a barrel discount to Brent, so in the past couple of weeks, Iraq’s crude oil was selling for $21 a barrel, Oil Minister Thamer Ghadban told local media, AFP reports.
Last week, Iraq, one of the oil producers worst hit by the oil price crash, was said to be proposing that all foreign oil firms operating in the country cut their budgets by 30 percent on the condition that crude production levels do not suffer.
Iraq, which relies on oil revenues for 95 percent of its budgetary income, is one of the least diversified economies in the Middle East.
Iraq was also one of the OPEC members who called for an emergency meeting of the cartel to discuss ways to support oil prices, which crumbled in March to as low as $25 a barrel Brent.
Iraq may see its wish granted soon after U.S. President Donald Trump intervened in the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia and discussed the oil market with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“The Kingdom calls for an urgent meeting for OPEC+ states and another group of countries, with aim of reaching a fair solution to restore a desire balance of the oil markets,” Saudi Arabia said on Thursday, via its official Saudi Press Agency, while President Trump said that he expects and hopes the Saudis and Russia to cut back “approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more.”
Source: OilPrice
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