4 June, 2018
Middle East Crude
In the trade of Iranian condensates, term negotiations for South Pars for the July-September period between main end-users in South Korea and Japan and Iran’s National Oil Co (NIOC) faced major hurdles. After US resumed economic sanctions on Iran, bank settlements for condensates as well as for Iranian crude grades were hard to be conducted. Three South Korean end-users – SK Energy, Hanwha Total and Hyundai Petrochemical already signed term contracts for South Pars until December 2018. The three Korean companies received 300,000 to 350,000 barrels per day (b/d) of South Pars before US pulled out of the Iranian nuclear deal. “It would be virtually difficult to take barrels even under the contract since problems of bank settlements and marine insurances have surfaced, so that we have no points to discuss about the term prices for the next quarter,” said a term contractor in South Korea. “
Taiwan’s CPC Corp procured a combined 6-7 mil bbl of US WTI Midlands in its sweet crude buy tender for July loading closed on May 22. CPC took WTI Midlands alone, skipping any purchases of its conventional diets like West Africa grades including Angolan crudes and Azerbaijan’s Azeri. Price details or volume breakdowns were not immediately known, but the majority of these quantities was heard sold by US Occidental Petroleum and China International United Petroleum and Chemicals (UNIPEC). A massive volume of US grades led by WTI Midlands flew into Asia, amid perceptions the current prices were more attractive than those for African grades.
Asia Pacific Crude
In the trade of Australia’s light grades, it was unveiled that production for Mutineer Exeter already came to an end. The crude’s production was scheduled to continue in July, but a glitch at the floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) facility cropped up, so that the production of the crude ended earlier than the initial plan. Following the move, a July-loading cargo of Mutineer that had been earlier sold to Trafigura was cancelled. Production for Mutineer started in Mar 2005. The operator was Australian Santos, while other equity holders are Kufpec Australia and JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration.