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Ruby Crude Sold at Lower Premiums; Murban Oil Falls: Asia Crude

17 May 2012

Vietnam’s Ruby crude for July sold at lower premiums than a month earlier, while Middle East Murban oil fell to its lowest in three weeks.

PV Oil Corp., Vietnam’s state-run oil-marketing company, sold 600,000 barrels of Ruby for July loading at a premium of $1 a barrel to the regional benchmark grade Minas, said three traders who participate in the market, declining to be identified because the information is confidential.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4), known as Petrobras, paid $2.50 more than Minas prices last month for June cargoes of Ruby, two traders said on April 18.

Abu Dhabi’s Murban crude fell 5 cents to 35 cents below its official selling price, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The grade has fallen for the last three days and was at the lowest level since April 30.

PV Oil offered to sell three cargoes of Chim Sao crude for loading in July, totaling 900,000 barrels, said two traders who participate in the market, declining to be identified because the information is confidential. Bids are due tomorrow.

The Vietnamese company also offered to sell 250,000 barrels of Song Doc crude for loading July 2 to July 7 and 250,000 barrels of Rang Dong for July 13 to July 19. Both offers close May 22.

Iran Blocked

Iranian oil shipments to Japan may be blocked after the bank handling payments on the transactions was ordered by a U.S. court to freeze assets belonging to the Persian Gulf nation, according to two refinery officials with knowledge of the matter.

The National Iranian Oil Co., the country’s state-run oil company, may stop Japanese refiners from picking up cargoes until it can find alternative ways to access payments received through accounts at the Bank of Tokyo unit of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., the refiners said, declining to be identified because of company policies. All of Japan’s purchases of Iranian crude are handled through the unit, they said.

Dubai crude’s backwardation, when prices for prompt supplies are greater than future delivery, fell 2 cents. Swaps for June were 96 cents a barrel more than August, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a London-based broker.

The Brent-Dubai exchange for swaps for July, which measures the European marker grade’s premium against the Middle East oil, fell 47 cents to $3.45 a barrel, according to data from PVM. The August EFS was down 32 cents at $3.42.

The profit from turning a barrel of Dubai crude into fuels priced in the oil-trading hub of Singapore averaged $3.36 during the last five days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The 30-day average is $4.08 a barrel.