Bloomberg News

Saudi Arabia Increases Premiums for Crude Exports to Asia

October 06, 2011

(Updates description of premiums in first paragraph.)

Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world’s largest crude exporter, set prices for two grades of crude to be sold to Asia at the highest premiums in at least 11 years and cut other for the U.S., Europe and the Mediterranean.

The state-owned producer, known as Saudi Aramco, increased the pricing formula for its Arab Light crude to Asia by $1.05 a barrel to $2.70 a barrel above the average price assessment for Oman and Dubai grades, it said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. That is the highest premium in Bloomberg records going back to June 2000. Oman and Dubai assessments published by Platts are used as pricing benchmarks for Middle Eastern oil.

Dhahran-based Saudi Aramco raised the price for its Arab Medium variety to $1.15 a barrel over the Oman-Dubai average, according to the statement. That’s also a record based on Bloomberg data and is up from a 30-cent discount to the benchmark in October.

Saudi Aramco raised November official selling prices for Arab Heavy crude to refiners in the U.S., the Mediterranean and for loading from the Egyptian port of Sidi Kerir, according to the statement. The company cut the prices for Arab Heavy to Northwest Europe and for its Arab Medium grade to that region and the Mediterranean.

Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf producers sell the bulk of their oil under long-term contracts. Most of the region’s state oil companies set their crude at a premium or discount to a benchmark price.

The following table shows differentials for four regions into which Saudi Aramco sells in relation to benchmark prices, the monthly change and degrees of gravity as defined by the American Petroleum Institute. Prices are in dollars a barrel.

--With assistance from Christian Schmollinger in Singapore. Editors: Paul Gordon, Mike Anderson.

To contact the reporters on this story: Anthony DiPaola in Dubai at adipaola@bloomberg.net; Yee Kai Pin in Singapore at kyee13@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net; Paul Gordon at pgordon6@bloomberg.net


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