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Exports of Oman crude in June outpaces production on surge in China demand

Singapore — Oman exported more crude oil in June than it produced after trading giant ChinaOil picked up an unprecedented 49 cargoes during the Platts Dubai Market on Close assessment process in April.

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China, which has been the biggest buyer of Oman crude in recent years, accounted for 90% of the country's overall crude exports in June, up more than 12% from May, according to data released by Oman's oil and gas ministry over the weekend.

Oman exported 912,015 b/d of crude oil in June -- up 11.28% from May -- even as its production was only 888,636 b/d, according to government data.

In addition to exports, it also supplied 134,366 b/d of crude to domestic refineries, up from 92,534 b/d in May.

While China's share of Oman crude reached a record high, it wasn't immediately clear where the additional export barrels came from.

Traders said the extra crude could be from storage or barrels produced earlier and shifted to June to meet Chinese demand.

"Some equity holders ... can do this," a trader said.

A record 31.05 million barrels of Dubai crude changed hands during the Market on Close assessment process in April, the largest volume for a single month.

A total of 1,006 June cash Dubai partials and 145 June cash Oman partials were traded during the month resulting in 55 June-loading convergence cargoes being declared.

ChinaOil bought all 500,000 barrels of June-loading cargoes -- 49 of Oman crude and six of Upper Zakum.

According to a Platts review of June loadings published last week, all but one of ChinaOil's vessels lifting Oman crude in June were destined to offload in China.

The vessels C Passion, Desh Vaibhav, Xin Run Yang and Front Signe were headed to Dalian. DS Vision, SCF Shanghai and Tenjun were headed to Rizhao.

Perseus Trader and Brightoil Gravity were destined to Qinzhou.

Shinyo Saowalak was headed to Zhanjiang and C Emperor to Yingkou. One of the vessels, the FPMC C Knight, carrying about 500,000 barrels of Oman crude, was destined for Singapore, which took 1.83% of Oman's exports in June.

--Gurdeep Singh,
--Edited by E Shailaja Nair,