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Saudi Keeps Steady Oct Supply to Asia Ahead of OPEC | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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TOKYO (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, will keep crude oil supplies to Asian customers mostly steady in October, adding to evidence OPEC will maintain its official output target when it meets later on Wednesday.

Saudi Arabia has notified six term buyers in Asia it would keep curbs on contracted volumes of crude oil in October at 6 to 15 percent, steady versus September, or slightly lighter.

Another refiner, which lifts only light grades, said it would receive full term volumes in October, the same as in September, as Saudi Arabia mainly curbs heavier, lower quality grades.

“There were no changes, (the supply volumes) came as they’ve been coming,” said one source, who declined to be identified because the information is confidential.

Last Friday an industry source said Saudi Arabia had already signaled to major global oil companies it would keep its oil supplies unchanged next month, reinforcing the prevailing view among most analysts that OPEC ministers will not change output when they meet later in the day.

And Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi expects OPEC to leave oil production levels unchanged at the meeting, Saudi-owned Al-Hayat newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Despite anxiety over the slower autumn demand period with bloated global inventories, both onshore and off, OPEC members are banking on the recovering economy, stronger winter demand and existing curbs to help sustain prices near $75 a barrel.

Saudi Arabia, the largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, has been cutting supply to Asia since December in line with the group’s agreement to cut 4.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil output.

About half of Saudi Arabia’s crude exports are shipped to Asia.

The kingdom typically informs its customers how much oil they can expect before the 10th of the preceding month.

International benchmark U.S. crude futures were down 11 cents at $70.99 a barrel by 0801 GMT, and have been range-bound between $65 and $75 since the start of August, fluctuating on shifting perceptions of a global recovery.

Other OPEC members have also shown little signs of relaxing their supply limits, with Qatar and Kuwait promising no change in shipments and the UAE’s Abu Dhabi National Oil Co easing its restraints only slightly, telling customers it will cut by 15 percent instead of 19 percent in September.