RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s state-run energy giant, Saudi Aramco, has increased the official selling price of the Kingdom’s crude to Asian and US buyers.
Global oil prices reportedly saw a smaller weekly loss as a result. In particular, Aramco increased pricing for its key Arab Light grade of crude for Asian customers in December to $2.70, up from $1.40.
The world’s biggest oil producer set the Arab Light official selling price (OSP) to the United States at plus $1.75 per barrel over Argus Sour Crude Index, and to Northwestern Europe at a discount of 30 cents a barrel over ICE Brent.
Over 60 percent of Saudi crude is reportedly exported to Asia, with China, South Korea, Japan, and India the major buyers. Aramco’s official selling price commonly serves as a bellwether for oil markets, leading the pricing trend in the region.
Crude futures shaved their weekly losses, rising sharply late in the session Friday. Brent crude rose $2.20 to settle at $82.74 per barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude gained $2.46 to $81.27. This year, oil prices have seen a surge of 60 percent.
The step comes a day after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies led by Russia, known as OPEC+, decided to stick to their original plan to boost output by 400,000 barrels per day, ignoring pleas from the US and other major oil consumers to pump even more oil.