OIL & GAS

Asian refiners call on Saudi to cut oil prices further in May

Asian refiners have called on Saudi Arabia to slash the official selling prices (OSP) of its crude for a third straight month in May, after Middle East benchmarks and refining margins dropped amid ample supplies and lower demand due to the coronavirus.

Last month, the world’s top exporter Saudi Arabia surprised everyone by slashing prices for April, after OPEC’s supply-cut pact with Russia fell apart, sparking a battle for market share and sending oil prices to 18-year lows.

Markets globally are now flooded with cheap oil with storage spaces filling up fast, while refiners cut output or shut plants following coronavirus lockdowns. State giant Saudi Aramco was initially planning to announce the prices by Thursday, but this has been pushed back to April 5, two sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Saudi Aramco officials, as a matter of policy, do not comment on the kingdom’s monthly OSPs. However, a senior Gulf source familiar with Saudi thinking told Reuters the Kingdom supports cooperation between producers to stabilize oil prices.

Earlier, U.S. President Donald Trump said he expected Saudi Arabia and Russia to reach a deal soon to end their price war, sending crude prices soaring 10%.

Prices on both sides of the Atlantic marked their worst ever month in March as the coronavirus pandemic crippled oil demand while the Saudi-Russia price war drove up supplies.

Source
et energy world
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