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Oil product stockpiles at Fujairah port rebound from 13-month low

Oil product stockpiles at the UAE's Fujairah port rebounded from a 13-month low, with middle distillates expanding to near the record high set in June.

Inventories as of 2nd November were at 20.243 million barrels, up 9.6 percent from a week earlier, according to data released on Wednesday from the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone.
Stocks of jet fuel, diesel and other middle distillates climbed 26 percent on the week to 5.447 million barrels, the highest since 15th June and close to the record 5.997 million barrels set on 1st June, according to the data provided exclusively to S&P Global Platts.
Stockpiles of light distillates such as gasoline also jumped 26 percent to 5.303 million barrels, after hitting a record low on 26th October.
Heavy distillates and residues such as marine bunkers and fuel for power generation declined 5 percent on the week to 9.493 million barrels.
Middle distillates stockpiles have ballooned 46 percent this year as the coronavirus pandemic crippled demand for jet fuel, the worst hit transportation fuel from travel restrictions. Lockdowns recently called in France, Germany and England will likely take a toll on European gasoil demand, Platts reported today in a separate note.
Light distillates are up 11 percent this year and heavy distillates are down 5.8 percent, leaving the total inventories up 9 percent for 2020 so far. Total stockpiles on 26th October were only 18.465 million barrels, the lowest since September 2019.
Volatility in marine bunker prices led to more buying interest from shipowners, Platts reported, adding that Fujairah-delivered marine fuel with 0.5 percent sulfur was at $325/mt on Nov. 3, $8/mt lower than in Singapore.
Source: Zawya
Sudan to start producing oil at al-Rawat oilfield within two weeks

Sudan will add 3,000 barrels a day of oil production from a new oilfield, which will boost the country's output to 64,000 bpd, the general manager of state oil firm Sudapet told Reuters.

Sudan has been trying to lift oil production to lower costly fuel imports after losing 73% of oil output when South Sudan seceded in 2011.
The al-Rawat oilfield in White Nile state will go online within two weeks with seven wells, said Aiman Aboujoukh in an interview on Tuesday night.
Sudan hopes to add an extra 20,000 bpd next year if the finance ministry approved funds for exploration, he said.
He said authorities hoped that Western firm would invest inafter the United States confirmed it would lift Khartoum from its list of state sponsors of terrorism, a designation that had blocked international funding and debt relief.
Last week, Sudan doubled local fuel prices with immediate effect to tackle budget deficit during an economic crisis.
Source: Zawya
Libyan crude output rises to 830,000 b/d

Libyan crude production has climbed to 830,000 b/d following resumption of operations at the Es Sider and Ras Lanuf ports and at the El Feel field, according to a source in the country.

This is ahead of state-owned NOC's forecast that output would hit around 800,000 b/d within two weeks of the 23 October lifting of force majeure restrictions from the Es Sider and Ras Lanuf terminals. These were the final two ports to resume operations after intermittent blockades, by forces allied with the Libyan National Army (LNA), since January.
NOC has instructed its subsidiaries, Harouge Oil and Waha Oil, to resume operations at their fields that feed crude for export from Ras Lanuf and Es Sider, respectively. Shipping and company sources said that the latter has been slow to resume activity, because it requires storage to be available at Es Sider. That port last week completed maintenance at two Es Sider tanks, and a third is under construction.
Much of NOC's production increase has come from the 300,000 b/d El Sharara field, which came online on 26 October. Spain's Repsol — lead operator of the Akakus Oil joint venture that runs El Sharara — said production there was 160,000 b/d as of 29 October. Libyan sources now peg this closer to 170,000 b/d.
The neighbouring El Feel field, which depends on El Sharara for electricity, also exited force majeure on 26 October, and Libyan shipping sources estimate output there at 50,000-70,000 b/d. El Feel has production capacity of 130,000 b/d, but it typically produces around 70,000-90,000 b/d. This supply is commingled with Wafa condensate to create the Mellitah crude blend, and the first shipment of this is scheduled for 3-5 November on behalf of BP. At least two other cargoes are preliminarily scheduled for export this month, ranging between 600,000 bl and 1mn bl.
Es Sider has restarted exporting crude. The Nissos Serifos departed on 30 October with a cargo of around 600,000 bl. Ras Lanuf should load a first, 600,000 bl, cargo of crude for export around 4-5 November.
Source: Argus
Iraq Somo to market third Basrah crude grade

Iraqi state-owned marketer Somo has informed customers that it plans to make a third Basrah crude stream available from January, according to a document seen by Argus.

As of next year, the company intends to offer a Basrah Light grade with a gravity of 33°API, a Basrah Medium crude with 29°API and a Basrah Heavy grade with 24°API.
Somo first floated the idea of a third Basrah crude offering back in 2017. It marks the second time that Iraq has split its Basrah stream. Rising production from heavier oil fields and the country's limited capacity to blend crude to a set gravity and sulphur content prompted Somo to separate Basrah supplies into the existing Light and Heavy grades in mid-2015.
The two grades have since been marketed with on-paper gravities of 34°API and 26°API, respectively. But Basrah exports have never achieved their intended quality specifications, nor has Somo's Kirkuk blend which is marketed at 36°API. This has forced the firm to offer quality compensation to buyers, depending on the gravity of the volumes they received at loading.
Argus tracking data estimate that shipments of Basrah Light averaged 2.18mn b/d over January-September this year, accounting for 73pc of total Basrah exports. Basrah Heavy volumes averaged just under 800,000 b/d during the same period.
Somo said its latest marketing move is an "intended segregation" of Basrah Light into two grades. It has asked clients to submit their annual requirements for the new Basrah Light and Basrah Medium grades by 13 November. The Iraqi company said it will provide the full specifications of the revamped grades "shortly". Somo had initially asked buyers to nominate their 2021 requirements by 15 October, but only listed Basrah Light, Basrah Heavy and Kirkuk as options at the time.
It is not immediately clear whether and how Somo will continue to offer its crude quality reimbursements — one of two subsidies the company offers. Somo also offers freight compensation, intended to increase Basrah's appeal to European and US buyers.
At 29°API, the new Basrah Medium will compete more closely with Russian Urals, which currently has a typical gravity of 29.89-30.66°API depending on the loading port. The new Basrah Light's 33°API will position it closer to Omani crude, which typically has an API of 33.3°, as well as Saudi Arabia's Arab Light at 33.9°API and UAE grade Upper Zakum at 34°API.
Source: Argus
Vitol places best offers for 4 of 6 LNG cargoes for Pakistan

Global trader Vitol on Monday placed the best offers for four of six cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) sought by Pakistan in December, a source at Pakistan's procurement body said.

Vitol offered 16.9720%, 16.5513%, 15.9759% and 15.8761% of the price of Brent crude - known as a slope rate - for four deliveries in December, said the source at Pakistan LNG Limited.
The lowest offers for the two other cargoes were won by Trafigura TRAFGF.UL and Socar which offered Brent crude slope rates of 16.9870% and 16.8403% respectively.
Slope rates provide a price indication for the opaque spot LNG market.
The delivery windows for Vitol's shipments are Dec. 13-14, Dec. 18-19, Dec. 24-25 and Dec. 30-31. The windows for Socar and Trafigura are Dec. 3-4 and Dec. 8-9.
Last month Pakistan invited bids for a record six cargoes of LNG from the spot market for December, with authorities predicting a surge in the gap between demand and supply of gas in the winter.
The South Asian country has a 15-year LNG purchase deal with Qatar to buy 3.75 million tonnes of LNG per year for 15 years to 2030, but it regularly taps the spot market.
It also has a five-year import deal with commodity trader Gunvor GGL.UL and a 15-year agreement with Eni.
Source: Zawya
OSN contract puts restrictions on Egyptian naphtha

London-based consultancy firm for the oil industry Asdem has made changes to the benchmark open specification naphtha (OSN) 2017 contract relating to cargoes from Egypt, which may potentially affect the flow of Egyptian naphtha to Asia-Pacific.
Asdem, which chairs the annual OSN meeting, decided to amend and include new clauses in the contract following feedback from market and industry participants on the arrival of off-specification naphtha cargoes from Egypt, which could potentially cause damage to refinery units.
The contract, a regional standard, also forms the basis of Argus' assessment of the Asia-Pacific naphtha market.
The first change temporarily removes naphtha cargoes loading from Egypt from the excepted product specification clause in the OSN 2017 contract. This change will affect first-half December delivery cargoes from Egypt and remain in place until the next OSN meeting. Naphtha cargoes from countries that fall under the excepted product specification list are exempted from stricter specifications set out in clause 2(1)(A) of the contract, including a maximum chlorine content of 1ppm for open specification naphtha trading.
The second change adds a fourth clause to additional specification requirements, which states that sellers must make sure that cargoes loading from Egypt have a maximum 1ppm chlorine content.
The last amendment requires composite samples from naphtha cargoes loading from Egypt to be tested to ensure compliance with OSN specifications, with this change to also remain in place until the next OSN meeting.
These changes could lend support to the Asia-Pacific naphtha market as Egyptian cargoes are under scrutiny and may be removed from the OSN chain, traders said, although the amount of Egyptian naphtha that flow to Asia-Pacific, mostly to Japan, is minimal.
Source: Argus
Iraq total oil exports rise to 2.8mln bpd in October

Iraqi oil exports rose to 2.876 million barrels per day in October, from 2.613 million bpd in the previous month, the oil ministry said on Sunday.

Exports from the country's southern Basra terminals reached 2.77 million bpd in October, up from 2.5 million bpd the month before, the ministry added.
Oil shipments from Kirkuk through Ceyhan averaged around 92,484 bpd in October.
Iraq's October revenue from oil, its main source of income, stood at $3.43 billion with an average price per barrel of $38.48.
Source: Zawya
Kuwait crude burn drops 22pc in September
Kuwait continued its run of burning significant volumes of crude oil to meet the country's growing summer power generation and water desalination needs, according to the latest data released by Kuwait's electricity and water ministry.
The Mideast Gulf state burned around 129,000 b/d of crude in September, down 22pc from August, but still more than eight times higher than the same period last year, the data showed.
Summer crude burn peaked at 184,000 b/d in July, before easing to 165,000 b/d in August. September was the fourth straight month in which Kuwaiti power and water plants have burned more than 100,000 b/d.
Crude consumption averaged 82,000 b/d from January through September, compared to just 11,600 b/d in the same period of 2019.
The month-on-month fall in crude burn followed a drop in temperatures. This meant Kuwait's peak load eased to an average of 13,085MW from 13,695 GW in August. This was still up from 12,460GW in September 2019, however.
One of the reasons for the increased crude burn is the lower volume of associated gas available due to Kuwait's commitments to limit crude production under the ongoing Opec+ agreement. In September 2019, state-owned KPC's upstream arm KOC provided an average of 1.63bn ft³/d of gas. But this September, with production restricted, it has only been able to supply 1.33bn ft³/d, down nearly 20pc.
Lower demand from crude buyers has also given Kuwait excess volumes to burn, allowing it to replace fuel oil as the main liquid fuel for power generation.
Kuwait burned 40,000 b/d of heavy fuel oil, up 42pc from 28,000 b/d in August. The use of fuel oil has averaged just over 55,000 b/d, less than half the volume used from January to September 2019.
Source: Argus
Qatar Petroleum makes new gas discovery in S Africa

Qatar Petroleum has announced a new gas/condensate discovery in the Luiperd prospect, located in Block 11B/12B, in the Outeniqua Basin, 175 kilometres off the southern coast of South Africa.

This is the second significant discovery in Block 11B/12B, which is being explored by Qatar Petroleum and its partners, Total (operator), CNR International, and Main Street. In February 2019, an important gas condensate discovery in the Brulpadda prospect was announced, marking a major milestone for a new play in South Africa.
Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the Minister of State for Energy Affairs, the President and CEO of Qatar Petroleum said: “We are pleased to announce this second discovery in our joint exploration project in South Africa. The initial well results are better than anticipated, and they offer a great opportunity to pursue further exploration and appraisal activities in this area, and to look into integrated commercialization of these findings in alignment with all stakeholders.”
Block 11B/12B covers an area of 19,000 sq km, with water depths ranging from 200 to 1,800 meters. It is operated by Total with a 45% working interest, alongside Qatar Petroleum (25%), CNR International (20%) and Main Street (10%).
Source: Zawya
BPCL delays Kochi petrochemical plant start-up to 2021

State-controlled Indian refiner Bharat Petroleum (BPCL) has delayed the commissioning of a 55bn rupees ($740mn) specialty petrochemicals plant at the company's 310,000 b/d Kochi refinery until early next year.

The project, which will produce 160,000 t/yr of acrylic acid and 212,000 t/yr of oxy alcohols and acrylates, was scheduled to start up in October 2019 but was pushed back to April this year and has now been further delayed.
BPCL is targeting start-up of the acrylic acid units in March 2021, although it could be commissioned as early as January after the refiner initiated commissioning on a remote basis with foreign licencees. But the acrylates venture may be delayed to April as experts from Japan will have to be physically present for commissioning.
The project, which has completed construction and is mechanically ready, was delayed by Covid-19 lockdowns. The government has permitted economic activity but barred international travel until 30 November, preventing the Japanese experts from visiting the plant.
The Kochi refinery produces 500,000 t/yr of propylene, half of which will feed the propylene derivatives unit while the rest will supply a proposed polypropylene facility.
The pandemic has also delayed construction of a Rs111bn specialty petrochemicals plant at Kochi to produce polyols. The project has not progressed beyond the design stage and will only be ready in four years after international travel resumes.
India is still recording around 50,000 new Covid-19 cases daily and its overall case count has exceeded 8mn, second only to the US. But state governments have made it difficult for people to get tests done, and are promoting antibody tests that are less accurate than PCR tests.
Source: Argus
India IOC raises refining runs

Indian state-controlled refiner IOC has increased refining runs in line with a recovery in fuel demand to 94pc from 77pc in September. It expects to fully utilise its refineries in a couple of months, according to company chairman Shrikant Madhav Vaidya.

Runs at IOC's refineries averaged as low as 49pc in April after India implemented a national Covid-19 lockdown. IOC said in mid-October that expected runs to be at 100pc by March. This target will now be achieved by December if demand continues to grow at current rates.
Demand for gasoline by the end of October had recovered to pre-Covid-19 levels and exceeded last year's levels by 2pc, while diesel sales are still lower by 2.6pc, IOC said. But jet fuel sales are down by as much as 50pc.
IOC has approved expanding the Koyali refinery in Gujarat state on the west coast to 360,000 b/d from around 274,000 b/d. It will consider further expansion at the 300,000 b/d Paradip and 300,000 b/d Panipat refineries after studying the demand scenario, Vaidya said.
The company's gross refining margin for the July-September quarter rose to $8.60/bl from around $1.30/bl a year earlier, on account of 74bn rupees ($1bn) in inventory gains on crude and oil products compared with inventory losses of around Rs18bn a year earlier.
The company is not considering any new projects. India's prime minister Narendra Modi has set a target for India to add 3mn b/d of capacity to the existing 5mn b/d by 2025. IOC has spent around Rs90bn until now on projects compared with a Rs262.2bn capital expenditure budget in the 2020-March 2021 fiscal year.
IOC's strategy mirrors that of fellow state-controlled refiner Bharat Petroleum, which earlier today said that expansion and throughput will be in line with demand.
Indian refinery throughput fell last month by 8.6pc from a year earlier, a smaller drop than the 27pc in August after India relaxed Covid-19 restrictions on economic activity. Crude runs fell to 4.33mn b/d last month from 4.74mn b/d a year earlier and from a targeted 5.07mn b/d, according to preliminary oil ministry data.
Source: Argus
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