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Turkey coup attempt: Asian crude traders see little impact

Singapore — Asian crude traders say Monday they do not see much immediate market impact from the failed coup attempt launched by Turkish army officers late last week.

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The August/September Dubai crude swap traded at minus 46 cents/b at 3 pm Singapore time (0700 GMT), down slightly from minus 41 cents/b at Singapore close on Friday.

At 3 pm in Singapore, ICE September Brent crude was at $47.54/b, while NYMEX August crude was at $45.80/b, both slightly down from Friday's settle. September ICE Brent had jumped to as high as $48.25/b late Friday as news of the coup attempt in Turkey spread.

"So far, we don't see any impact yet [from the failed coup attempt] ... market is relaxed, it's OK," said a Singapore-based crude trader.

Article Continues below...

Industry officials had told S&P Global Platts late Sunday that the failed coup attempt launched late Friday by Turkish army officers had little or no impact on oil and gas flows through Turkey.

A spokesman for BP Turkey had said Azeri crude flows through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline were continuing as normal, as were gas flows through the South Caucasus gas pipeline.

An official from the Kurdistan Regional Government confirmed to Platts Saturday that crude flows through the main Iraq-Turkey pipeline to Ceyhan were continuing as normal and had not been affected, while a spokesman for the region's main crude producer, Anglo-Turkish Genel Energy, said he was unaware of any interruptions to flows.

Tanker traffic through Istanbul's Bosporus was halted for a period from late Friday, but restarted the following day, local media reported. ASIAN CRUDE PRODUCERS COULD BENEFIT

Some traders, however, noted that the geopolitical jitters could be a boon to Malaysian crude producers as various end-users across Asia, especially Indian refiners, fret about potential disruption in the exports of light sweet Mediterranean grades, which share similar qualities to Malaysian crude grades.

Although the failed coup attempt had little immediate impact on the country's major crude pipeline networks and loading operations, regular buyers of light sweet crude grades in the Mediterranean region have already switched focus to alternatives like Malaysian light sweet crudes, traders said.

"Not many end-users want it [Azeri Light] now because of the uncertainty ... they are pushing them back [to the suppliers] and looking for something else," said a Southeast Asian crude trader.

Regional traders noted that Malaysian grades stand to benefit the most as more and more end-users cast doubt on the near to medium-term stability in Azeri Light exports.

Malaysia's benchmark crude grades including Labuan, Kikeh and Miri, as well as light sweet Kimanis often compete directly with light sweet crude grades in the Mediterranean and Nigerian markets.

"Indian refiners are normally very cautious on things like this ... that's why they have been quite actively buying extra Malaysian barrels and stopped picking up Nigerian light sweets in months," said the Southeast Asian trader.

"Buyers in general want to make absolutely sure that whatever they buy will load properly on time so we would obviously think twice [about buying Azeri Light or other light sweet Mediterranean crudes]," said another Southeast Asian trader.

--Philip Vahn, philip.vahn@spglobal.com
--Ada Taib, ada.taib@spglobal.com
--Edited by Irene Tang, irene.tang@spglobal.com