Crude Oil Price Movements
OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report – August 2017
The light sweet/medium sour crude spread
were mixed in July, widening significantly in Asia, while narrowing in Europe on
tighter sour supplies.
, the Tapis premium over Dubai increased for the second month in a row, despite a tighter sour
market. A near $1/b widening in the Brent/Dubai spread slowed the west-east arbitrage movement for
Atlantic Basin crudes. Lower supplies of Vietnamese sweet crudes also supported the Asia Pacific light
sweet oil market. Moreover, continuing healthy demand for Asia Pacific light sweet crudes amid firm refining
margins in Asia and returning regional demand from Chinese independent refiners, supported the trend.
The Tapis/Dubai spread widened by 91¢ to $2.92/b in July. The Dated Brent/Dubai spread widened,
improving by 88¢ to the advantage of Brent, a 92¢ premium compared with the previous month’s 4¢
, the light sweet North Sea Brent premium to Urals medium sour crude decreased again by 21¢ to
69¢, a fresh two-year high on firm demand for sour crudes. Urals price differentials to Dated Brent
strengthened in the Mediterranean amid limited exports of Urals and higher demand for medium sour crude
oil. A steady flow of Urals to buyers in India boosted interest in the grade’s tight second-half July supplies.
Meanwhile, strong fuel oil margins and tighter supplies of medium and heavy sour crude due to OPEC and
non-OPEC production adjustments supported the market for medium and heavy Atlantic Basin crudes such
Graph 1 - 5: Brent Dated vs. Sour grades (Urals and Dubai) spread
US Gulf Coast (USGC)
, the Light Louisiana Sweet (LLS) premium over medium sour Mars narrowed
to $3.17/b on increased demand from refiners for sour alternatives to OPEC supplies. Mars also found
support from the shutdown of the 220 tb/d Cano Limo-Covenas pipeline, as well as higher prices for
competing Colombian and Western Canadian Select (WCS) prices.
Sources: Argus Media, OPEC Secretariat and Platts.