Kuwait expects to seal new deals to supply Chinese buyers with crude amid healthy demand for its exports in Asia, an oil official from the OPEC Gulf producer told Reuters.
The country also plans to export a new light crude grade by January, as well as spending $120 billion over the next five years on expanding both its upstream and downstream businesses, said Waleed Al-Bader, deputy managing director marketing at state-run Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC).
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“We see now very healthy refining margins … this is mainly because of the past months of the OPEC cuts,” Al-Bader said in an interview at the KPC office in Singapore on Wednesday, referring to a push led by Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to curb global crude supply.
“We see medium sour demand is very healthy and we have been approached by several customers for additional cargoes or for new contracts in China.”
The buyers include some small independent Chinese refiners, known as ‘teapots’, said Al-Bader, who was in China last week.
He added that there had been some “firm” enquiries from buyers, mainly for single initial shipments of 2 million barrels, with the potential for discussing term contracts for next year.
Kuwait also plans to start selling a new grade of crude called Kuwait Super Light from January, said Al-Bader. The new light sour grade has an API gravity of 47 and a sulphur content of 1.6 percent, Al-Bader said.
Production of the new grade could reach up to 120,000 barrels per day, he said, but the company is still studying the pricing mechanism for the grade.
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