August 24, 2022 [Arab News] – Oil prices steadied on Friday, but fell for the week on a stronger US dollar and fears that an economic slowdown would weaken crude demand.
Brent crude futures settled at $96.72 a barrel, gaining 13 cents.
US West Texas Intermediate crude ended 27 cents higher at $90.77.
Both benchmarks fell about 1.5 percent on the week.
Russia is China’s top oil supplier for 3rd month in July
Russia held its spot as China’s top oil supplier for a third month in July, data showed on Saturday, as independent refiners stepped up purchases of discounted supplies while cutting shipments from rival suppliers such as Angola and Brazil.
Imports of Russian oil, including supplies pumped via the East Siberia Pacific Ocean pipeline and seaborne shipments from Russia’s European and Far Eastern ports, totaled 7.15 million tons, up 7.6 percent from a year ago, data from the Chinese General Administration of Customs showed.
Still, Russian supplies in July, equivalent to about 1.68 million barrels per day, were below May’s record of close to 2 million bpd. China is Russia’s largest oil buyer.
Imports from second-ranking Saudi Arabia rebounded last month from June, the lowest in more than three years, to 6.56 million tons, or 1.54 million bpd, but still slightly below the year-ago level.
Year-to-date imports from Russia totaled 48.45 million tons, up 4.4 percent on the year, still trailing behind Saudi Arabia, which supplied 49.84 million tons, or 1 percent below the year-ago level.
China’s crude oil imports in July fell 9.5 percent from a year earlier, with daily volumes at the second lowest in four years, as refiners drew down inventories and domestic fuel demand recovered more slowly than expected.
The strong Russian purchases squeezed out competing supplies from Angola and Brazil, which fell 27 percent year-on-year and 58 percent, respectively.
Brazil’s Petrobras in non-binding phase of selling refining assets
Brazilian oil giant Petrobras said on Friday it had begun the non-binding phase of selling its refining assets.
The assets to be sold by the state-run company include its refineries RNEST, REPAR and REFAP.
Nigerian president worried over large-scale crude oil theft
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari expressed concern on Friday over large-scale crude oil theft, saying it was affecting the country’s revenues “enormously.”
The oil regulator has said that Nigeria lost $1 billion in revenue during the first quarter of this year due to crude theft.
Nigeria is unable to meet some of its financial obligations to its citizens due to the oil theft, Buhari told government workers who are requesting a pay increase to help deal with double-digit inflation.
“On your request for a salary review, I wish to urge you to appreciate the revenue constraints being presently faced by the government which are caused mainly by the activities of unscrupulous citizens through the theft of our crude oil, a major contributor to our revenue base,” Buhari said.
Crude theft poses an existential threat to Nigeria’s oil industry, the local head of Shell has said, resulting in the shutdown of two of its major pipelines.
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