Saudi to supply full April crude to Asia: Source

Reuters, Monday 12 Mar 2012

State-run Aramco continues to supply contracted volumes, making no changes in its monthly allocations

Saudi Arabia, the world's top crude exporter, will supply full contracted volumes of crude oil in April to at least one Asian term buyer, unchanged from March, an industry source familiar with the matter said on Monday.

State-run Saudi Aramco made no changes to its monthly allocations of light and heavy grades for April, the source said.

The move was expected as the OPEC kingpin has supplied full contractual volumes to most Asian buyers since late 2009.

The buyer does not plan to immediately take additional volumes from Saudi Arabia to compensate for possible disruptions to oil from Iran, another of its suppliers, the source said. Saudi Arabia always gives buyers the option of asking for cargoes to be loaded with up to 10 per cent more or less crude than contracted.

The source added that the firm would consider options such as buying in the spot market.

The West has imposed tough sanctions to try to force Iran to open up its atomic activities to international scrutiny amid suspicions it is secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iran has denied any military development work but has not given international inspectors access to suspicious sites.

A second Asian buyer also received its allocations, but the details were not disclosed.

Saudi Arabia supplied 9.4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude to the market in February steady from January, an industry source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Saturday.

"Production from the kingdom was in the range of 9.85 million bpd also steady from the previous month," the industry source added.

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