Oil jumps on Saudi price revisions
Both oil benchmarks jumped from the lull in Asian trading on Tuesday following Saudi Arabia’s decision to raise its asking price for crude oil exports to Europe and North America.
In a statement, Saudi Aramco – the country’s national oil company – said it would be raising its official selling prices (OSPs) for exports to Europe and North America, while holding them at previous levels for Asia.
Aramco kept the June OSP for its benchmark Arab Light grade at minus 60 cents per barrel to the Dubai Oman crude oil average for Asian exports. However, the company raised its Arab Light OSP to North Western Europe to minus $2.65 per barrel to Brent Weighted Average (BWAVE); an increase of $1.30 per barrel on May's price.
Concurrently, Aramco’s OSP to the US was raised 20 cents a barrel to $1.55 a barrel, above the Argus Sour Crude Index (ASCI).
Both benchmarks rose on the news as a higher OSP from the world’s largest oil exporter is often seen as a sign of rising remand. At 14:16 BST Brent was trading up 2.03% or $1.35 at $67.80 per barrel while the WTI was up 2.53% or $1.49 at $60.42. Earlier in the day, Saudi oil minister Ali Al-Naimi had told CNBC that no single producer can set oil prices.
Calling the 'God' factor, Al-Naimi said: "No one can set the price of oil - it's up to Allah."