DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Aramco has raised the European price for its Arab Light crude grade for October, the state oil producer said on Wednesday, as Russian Urals prices rally and European refiners seek to replace Iranian oil supplies ahead of the November U.S. sanctions deadline.
Aramco has raised the official selling price (OSP) to Northwest Europe by $1.45 a barrel from the previous month, putting it at a discount of $1.80 per barrel to ICE Brent.
Russian Urals crude prices have rallied in recent weeks as European refineries’ appetite for crudes similar to Iran’s has pushed up prices.
Urals prices in NorthWest Europe are currently at the strongest this year, and are not far off a five year high.
Iran’s oil exports are already dropping fast as refiners scurry to find alternatives ahead of a reimposition of U.S. sanctions in early November.
Aramco also cut its October OSP for Arab Light to Asia by $0.10 a barrel versus September, putting it a premium of $1.10 a barrel to the Oman/Dubai average.
Saudi Arabia was expected to keep prices for the light crude grades it sells to Asia largely unchanged in October from the previous month to keep its oil competitive against other suppliers, according to a Reuters survey.
The Arab Light OSP to the United States was set at a premium of $1.00 a barrel to the Argus Sour Crude Index (ASCI) for October, up $0.10 a barrel from the previous month.
Reporting by Rania El Gamal; Editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter