Bloomberg News

Saudi Aramco Raises Oil Premium for April Sales to Asia, U.S.; Cuts Europe

March 04, 2012

Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world’s largest crude exporter, said Arab Light crude sold to Asia will be priced at a premium of $2.80 a barrel to the regional benchmark for April loading compared with $1.55 for March.

Saudi Aramco, as the state-run company is known, raised the premiums for other light grades sold to Asia, as well as its Arab Medium crude, and narrowed the discount for Arab Heavy, the company said in an e-mailed statement today.

Aramco also raised the differentials for most grades sold to U.S. customers while cutting the formulas for deliveries to Northwest Europe, the statement showed. Each of the three regions is priced against a different benchmark.

The following table gives differentials for the regions into which Aramco sells in relation to benchmark prices, the month-on-month change and the degrees of gravity as defined by the American Petroleum Institute. Differentials are in U.S. dollars a barrel.

United States

Variety        API      April          March           Change
Extra Light    38.5     +1.85          +1.85            0.00
Arab Light     32.5     +0.05          -0.05           +0.10
Arab Medium    31       -2.10          -2.15           +0.05
Arab Heavy     27       -3.40          -3.75           +0.35
 ----------------------------------------------------

Prices for customers in the U.S. are expressed as a differential
to the Argus Sour Crude Index published by Argus Media Ltd.

Asia

Variety        API      April          March           Change
Super Light    50.6     +7.60          +4.20           +3.40
Extra Light    38.5     +5.20          +3.10           +2.10
Arab Light     32.5     +2.80          +1.55           +1.25
Arab Medium    31       +0.90          +0.25           +0.65
Arab Heavy     27       -0.75          -0.85           +0.10
 ----------------------------------------------------

Prices for customers in Asia are expressed as a differential to
the average of Oman and Dubai grades, the two Arabian Gulf
benchmarks used by Asian oil traders. The Dubai and Oman price
assessments are published by Platts, the energy-information
division of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Northwest Europe

Variety        API      April          March           Change
Extra Light    38.5     +0.70          +1.55           -0.85
Arab Light     32.5     -1.25          -0.85           -0.40
Arab Medium    31       -2.95          -2.40           -0.55
Arab Heavy     27       -4.60          -4.30           -0.30
 ---------------------------------------------------

Mediterranean

Variety        API      April          March           Change
Extra Light    38.5     +1.75          +1.75           +0.30
Arab Light     32.5     -1.10          -1.10            0.00
Arab Medium    31       -2.60          -2.45           -0.15
Arab Heavy     27       -4.80          -4.40           -0.40
 ---------------------------------------------------

Prices for Northwest European and Mediterranean customers are
expressed as a differential to the Brent weighted average posted
by Intercontinental Exchange, free on board Ras Tanura.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Voss in Dubai at sev@bloomberg.net; Mark Shenk in New York at mshenk1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mike Harrison at mharrison5@bloomberg.net


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