October 1, 2014 / 5:38 PM / 3 years ago

Saudi cuts official crude prices in battle for market share

DUBAI/KHOBAR (Reuters) - Saudi Aramco has sharply cut its November prices for Asian oil customers in the clearest sign yet the world’s largest exporter is competing for market share.

A gas flame is seen in the desert near the Khurais oilfield, about 160 km (99 miles) from Riyadh, June 23, 2008. REUTERS/Ali Jarekji/Files

The oil giant slashed its flagship Arab Light selling price by $1 a barrel versus October to a discount of $1.05 a barrel to the Oman/Dubai average, it said on Wednesday, the fourth monthly price cut in a row.

The cut was bigger than anticipated by traders who expected the official selling price (OSP) differential for Arab Light crude to Asia to fall by around 70 cents a barrel in November. It underscored the ample supplies in global oil markets that have already pushed international benchmark Brent crude oil to a two-year low below $95 a barrel this week.

The state-owned oil company dropped its Arab Light OSP to Northwest Europe by 40 cents for November versus October at a discount of $3.95 a barrel to the Brent Weighted Average (BWAVE).

The Arab Light OSP to the United States was set at plus $2.05 a barrel to the Argus Sour Crude Index (ASCI) for November, down 40 cents a barrel from October.

Reporting by Rania El Gamal and Reem Shamseddine, editing by David Evans

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