Thu May 10, 2012 12:05pm EDT
LONDON, May 10 (Reuters) – Russian Urals crude market was
stable on Thursday as traders said the grade of the world’s top
oil producer had found equilibrium following some strengthening
earlier this week among higher Russian refining runs and
“The market is quite stable. I certainly don’t see any
downside at the moment,” one trader with a Russian trading house
said, adding discussions were pegged to levels seen in the
Platts window on Wednesday.
There was no activity in the window on Thursday.
In a sign the maintenance season in Russia was coming to its
end, the Ufa group of refineries would raise runs by 6 percent
to 370,000 barrels per day in May, trading sources said.
In the Baltic, Lukoil decided against exporting two cargoes
of Urals from Primorsk and Ust Luga on May 19-20 and 27-28, the
sources said. The slot in Ust Luga was allocated to Surgut which
would sell the volumes at a tender closing on May 11, they said.
In other sour grades, Iran has cut its official selling
prices (OSPs) for June-loading crude to Asia from May as
it seeks to encourage Asian buyers, but raised prices to
Europe where buyers have mostly retreated.
Some traders said Iran, under pressure because of its
shrinking market share ahead of an EU embargo on its oil from
July 1, aimed to soothe Asian buyers with price cuts after
having granted steeper cuts to European buyers in the previous
“It is irrelevant to Europe. Asia is the only place they
can sell oil to,” a London-based trader said.
The world’s top oil exporter Saudi Arabia will keep
supplying crude oil to its customers in June at the same volume
In sweet grades, Vietnam’s state oil marketer PV Oil bought
Libyan crude for the first time as it sought to diversify supply
for the country’s sole refinery, trade sources said on Thursday.
PV Oil bought 600,000 barrels of Amna crude from European
trader Glencore to be delivered in the first half of June, they
In Russia, the head of Russian oil pipeline monopoly
Transneft, Nikolai Tokarev, signed a contract
extension for a further three years, the company said in a
disclosure to the exchange on Thursday.
Tokarev, an ally of newly inaugurated President Vladimir
Putin and a sceptic of plans to privatise the company, has been
running Transneft since 2007.
(Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov, Additional reporting by Gleb
Gorodyankin; editing by James Jukwey)