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Europeans Shun Russia’s Urals Crude as Price Soars

Europeans Shun Russia’s Urals Crude as Price SoarsEuropeans Shun Russia’s Urals Crude as Price Soars

European refiners are shunning Russia’s flagship crude grade Urals, which is now more expensive than Brent Crude after Russia cut its exports as part of the OPEC+ agreement, oil traders told Reuters on Friday.
Over the past few weeks, the price of Urals, a blend of heavy sour oil from the Urals Mountains and light oil from western Siberia, has risen to a premium to dated Brent prices after Russia significantly reduced its exports of the grade.
In April, when oil prices crashed with the demand collapse and the Saudi-Russian oil price war, the price of Urals was around $4 a barrel below dated Brent. Since then, Urals has become more expensive than Brent and has been trading at some $2 a barrel premium to dated Brent.
Urals exports from Russia’s Baltic and Black Sea ports are expected at around 880,000 bpd in the first ten days of July. If this rate holds throughout next month, Russia’s Urals exports would be the lowest in at least twelve years.     
As the price of Urals has increased, European refiners are looking into alternatives and are considering a shift to West Texas Intermediate from the United States, Johan Sverdrup from Norway, or light oil from West Africa, traders told Reuters.
 

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