The Philippines recommenced imports of Omani Export Blend crude in January, lifting 4.12 per cent of exports totalling 23.320 million barrels during the month, the Sultanate’s Ministry of Oil and Gas said in its monthly report.
South Korea too resumed imports of Omani crude, receiving 8.55 per cent of the total. China maintained its long-standing position as the biggest market for Omani crude, importing 78.83 per cent of the total, although the intake was lower by 8.40 per cent when compared to corresponding figures for December 2018. India also saw its share fall 5.61 per cent to 2.15 per cent of total Omani exports in January. Japan’s share climbed 1.35 per cent to 6.35 per cent of total Omani crude exports during the month.
According to the Ministry report, the Sultanate’s total production of crude oil and condensate during January 2019 amounted to 30.078 million barrels, representing a daily average of 970,268 barrels. Of this figure, 23.320 million barrels were exported, representing a daily average of 752,290 barrels.
The average price for the Oman Crude Oil Future’s Contract on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME) witnessed a hike by 3.5 per cent compared to the previous month. The official selling price for Oman Crude Oil during trading in January 2019 for the delivery month of March 2019, settled at $59.36 per barrel, representing an increase of $2.03 compared with December trading prices. The daily average trading marker price ranged between $62.25 and $52.18 per barrel.
Futures trading of crude oil prices witnessed a healthier trading movement during January 2019 compared with December 2018 for most major crude oil benchmarks around the world. The average price for West Texas Intermediate crude oil at the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) has averaged $51.76 per barrel, which was higher by $2.39 compared with the previous trading month. The average price for North Sea Brent mix on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in London ended at $60.24 per barrel, up $2.36 compared with December 2018.
“The higher prices of crude oil during the trades of January 2019 were attributable to several factors that directly affected oil prices, most notably was the new production-cut agreement by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and its non-Opec allies coming into effect in January 2019, reducing global supply,” said the Ministry. Besides, the slight recovery of global equity markets contributed to improved global economic sentiments that reflected on oil trading activities, it said. “In addition, the number of US oilrigs have also declined, indicating level of drilling activity and future production. The positive impact of the progress of the negotiations between the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China on the non-escalation of the trade war between the two countries, which gave some reassurance to the world markets. The unstable political situation in Venezuela has also threatened to reduce the global supply of heavy crude oil, while adding to it the imposed economic sanctions by the US on the current Government of Venezuela, imposing sanctions on the oil industry will restrict or might completely stop transactions between US-based companies, hence reducing global crude supply,” it added.