September 18, 2019 / 4:27 PM / a month ago

Factbox: Impact of Saudi oil outage on crude, product markets

(Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s oil minister said on Tuesday the country will restore its lost oil production by the end of September and has used inventories to return supplies to customers to the levels prior to the Saturday attacks that shut down about 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production.

Saudi defence ministry spokesman Colonel Turki Al-Malik displays remains of the missiles which Saudi government says were used to attack an Aramco oil facility, during a news conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 18, 2019. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

The statement sent oil prices plunging after a steep rise early in the week triggered by fears a return to full production would take months.

Saudi Arabia is the world’s biggest oil exporter, normally shipping more than 7 million barrels every day.

The key Khurais and Abqaiq processing plant was hit at the weekend. Abqaiq processes Arab Light or Arab Extra Light crude from the Ghawar, Shaybah and Khurais fields.

The following outlines the impact on crude and product markets so far:

CRUDE

- China’s Unipec, the trading arm of Asia’s top oil refiner, Sinopec, chartered at least four crude tankers this week from the United States, ramping up shipments after attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities and as trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies cool, sources said on Tuesday.

- India is looking at raising oil imports from Russia, its oil minister said on Tuesday.

- PetroChina said its light crude loadings for October would be delayed by 10 days.

- At least six Asian refiners, including two in India, are set to receive their full allocated volumes into October.

- Saudi Arabia said it would continue normal exports this week from storage but that some deliveries have been disrupted.

- Buyers of Saudi crude are being asked to take heavier grades, several trading sources said, including Indian Oil Corp and PetroChina in September.

- Saudi Arabia’s oil minister said that flows through the country’s pipeline to Bahrain were being restarted. The kingdom was forced to shut that pipeline after the attack. The conduit supplies 220,000-230,000 bpd of Arab Light to the 267,000-bpd Sitra refinery.

- The shutdown had left Bahrain’s state oil firm scrambling to move about 2 million barrels of oil from the Saudi port of Ras Tanura to its refinery.

REFINED PRODUCTS

- Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said the kingdom had cut oil refinery intake to 1.9 million bpd from 2.9 million bpd but was in the process of bringing that back up.

- Saudi Aramco will delay its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) October cargo nomination announcements to Sept. 18 from Sept. 16, three industry sources said. China, Japan and South Korea are the top three LPG importers in Asia.

- Saudi Aramco’s trading arm is seeking oil products for prompt delivery following Saturday’s attacks.

- Aramco Trading Co, the trading arm of Saudi Aramco, is making enquiries to buy diesel for prompt delivery, two trade sources said. Saudi Arabia is typically a net exporter of diesel.

- At least two refined-product tankers that were due to load at Saudi Arabia’s Jubail port in mid to late September have been diverted, data from analytics firm Vortexa showed.

- Operations at Saudi Arabia’s SASREF and PetroRabigh oil and petrochemical refineries have been slashed by up to 40%, two trading sources said, citing oil research firm IIR.

STRATEGIC RESERVES

- The International Energy Agency (IEA) currently does not see a need to release emergency oil stocks following the attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, the agency’s head said on Wednesday.

- U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said on Tuesday the United States was taking a wait-and-see approach on whether to tap its Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

- U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday authorised the release of strategic reserves.

- South Korea said it would consider releasing oil from its strategic reserves if circumstances around crude imports worsened.

- The German government said its supply of oil was not affected by the attacks and any decision to release strategic reserves must be made jointly with members of the IEA.

Compiled by Julia Payne; Editing by Dale Hudson and Steve Orlofsky

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