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 Middle East Crude-Dalian restart maintains bullishness
CreateTime:2011-08-30     Source:reuters Editor:lile
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SINGAPORE, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Sentiment in the Middle East crude market remained bullish on Monday before the release of
official selling prices, as news that PetroChina was re-starting a crude unit at its largest refinery reassured traders of a sustained pick-up in demand.

    With prospects of a restart also at Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical Corp's 540,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) plant, crude requirements from refiners were expected to increase in the run-up to the Northern Hemisphere heating season in the fourth quarter, traders said.

    Notional values for November Oman crude cargoes were at a premium of 75 cents to Dubai quotes, in line with the latest deals heard done for October supplies.

    Murban crude was the exception, with values slipping to single-digit premiums to the ADNOC official selling price. Shell was heard offering one parcel at a 10-cent premium, failing to elicit interest from buyers.

    Strength in the West African and North Sea crude markets was also expected to curb imports of Atlantic Basin crude into Asia,
raising interest in Middle East grades. 

    * DALIAN
    - PetroChina  is restarting a crude unit at its largest refinery and will begin normal operations by the end of this month, even as a diesel tank in the plant caught fire earlier in the day.
    - The 200,000 barrels-per-day unit, about half of the Dalian plant's capacity, was shut following a fire on July 16 in the heat exchanger. The six-week outage, plus major overhauls to other units, may force PetroChina to look for diesel from overseas to replenish stocks.
    - Kuwait resumed the allocation of full contractual crude oil volumes to Asia from July, ending the imposition of a 5 percent curb in place since February 2009, trading sources said on Monday.
    - The OPEC member nation in May imposed a 5 percent curb on crude supply for July-September, but it lifted the curb in June
after OPEC failed to agree on an increase in output despite calls from industrial nations to do so, they said.
    - Kuwait has notified its Asian customers that it will supply them with full contractual crude oil volumes for October-December, steady from July-September, they added.
    - Qatar is expected to announce as early as Monday that the OPEC member nation will keep crude allocations to Asia steady at
full contracted volumes.
    * OSPs
    - Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) may raise the premium on its August retroactive selling price to Dubai by 15-20 cents a barrel, taking into account the premiums that the light sour grade fetched this month, traders said.
    - ADNOC set the July OSP for Murban crude at a $3.96 a barrel premium to Dubai. Qatar is likely to raise its premium too, and Saudi Arabia is also projected to announce a similar price hike for light and heavy crude oil, they added.
    - The Brent/Dubai Exchange of Futures for Swaps (EFS) for October gained 5 cents to $4.63 a barrel at 0830 GMT, Reuters data showed. The front-month EFS on June 15 touched $9.20, the highest intraday value since the spread reached a record of almost $12 in October 2004.   
    * DME OMAN
    - October Oman traded on the DME shed 11 cents to a premium of 71 cents to Dubai swap quotes at 0830 GMT, using the settlement price for DME futures, the ICE one-minute marker for Singapore and the Brent-Dubai EFS as calculated by Reuters.
    - Libya plans to restart production at two eastern oil fields in mid-September and resume shipping oil from Tobruk by the end of the same month, offering relief to European countries reliant on its imports.
    - Qatargas will stop three of the world's biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) producing plants at different times during a rolling maintenance programme planned for this autumn, the world's largest LNG producer said on Sunday.
    - Asia's top oil refiner, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec)  said on Monday that it will step up overseas production and is optimistic about the refining sector for the second half of the year, after posting better-than-expected first-half results.
    - Gas oil's September crack strengthened 40 cents to a premium of $17.69, while the October premium rose 44 cents to $18.06 a barrel to Dubai crude.
    - Fuel oil's September crack widened 30 cents to a discount of $5.62 a barrel to Dubai crude, while the October discount was also 23 cents wider at $6.33.
    - Naphtha's September crack to Brent widened 25 cents to a discount of $4.73, while the October discount was also 23 cents weaker at $4.66 a barrel.
    - October ICE Brent LCOc1 was at $111.09 a barrel at 0830 GMT, up 80 cents from Friday.

(Reporting by Alejandro Barbajosa; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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