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Crude MOC: Middle East light sour cargoes bid higher, Oman pulls back

Singapore — Bids for cargoes of Middle East light sour crude grades continued to move higher while Oman premiums dipped from a sharp upward surge the day before during Friday's crude oil Market on Close assessment process in Asia.

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The Platts crude MOC saw a total of six cargo bids and offers in the thirty minute window between 4 to 4:30 pm Singapore time (0800-0830 GMT) on Friday.

The month's first bid for a cargo of Das Blend crude was placed in the MOC by Petrochina, who was seeking a September loading clip at a discount to the grade's Official Selling Price, or OSP. Petrochina's bid for Das rose up to a discount of 18 cents/b from minus 30 cents/b by the end of the MOC.

Abu Dhabi's flagship Murban crude commanded more attention however, with two bids and two offers seen for similar sized cargoes -- all September loading -- during the MOC period. Petrochina and Total started with bids at minus 35 cents/b each, while BP came in with an offer at OSP minus 10 cents/b for the light sour grade. Total was also seen with an offer placed for Murban at parity to the OSP. The French major did not move its offer down the entire time.

Both offers stipulated a loading range of September 1-25 with B/L Month Pricing. Both bids stipulated September 1-30, B/L Month Pricing.

Different laycans can hold different pricing value for crude traders, which varies with market structure.

At the close of the MOC, Total and BP stood five cents/b apart on their Murban bid/offer spread. Total was at minus 20 cents/b while BP's offer moved down to minus 15 cents/b. No trade was concluded.

Anglo-Dutch oil major Shell continued to seek a cargo of medium sour Upper Zakum crude in Friday's MOC. Shell remained standing at a discount of 24 cents/b under the OSP as of 4:30 pm Singapore time, without any selling interest seen.

The Market on Close assessment process also saw three partials of September Dubai trade at $65.85/b each, with Unipec the seller for all three 25,000 barrel clips. Total bought two partials from Unipec, while the Chinese major sold one to Shell.

This brings the total partial count to date in July to 111, out of which three are Oman partials and the remaining Dubai.

So far two cargoes of Upper Zakum have been declared via Dubai convergences, both from Unipec to Shell.

Under the partials trading mechanism, the seller declares a full 500,000 barrel cargo to the buyer after 20 partials have been traded for the same loading month between the two companies.

Additionally, US trader Koch and Unipec each offered September Oman partials during Friday's process. Koch's offer was the lower of the two at close, standing at $66.30/b.

Platts assessed September cash Dubai at $66.855/b on Friday, and September cash Oman at $66.29/b.

--Eesha Muneeb,

--Edited by Debiprasad Nayak,

Related story: Dubai Futures - Sour crude premiums steady as market mulls recent rally