Algeria Bucks OPEC-Discount Trend With Venezuela Oil Sale

Algeria raised its oil price for November to the highest in five months after adding Venezuela, fellow OPEC member and holder of the world’s largest crude reserves, to the list of its mostly European customers.

The North African country will sell its Saharan Blend crude at a premium of 70 cents a barrel to Dated Brent, the North Sea benchmark, according to a price list obtained by Bloomberg. That’s the highest level since June and an increase from 20 cents in October. The first supertanker of Algerian crude arrived in Venezuela on Oct. 25, according to ship tracking data.

“It’s primarily due to its sales to Venezuela” that Algeria has been able to raise premiums, Amrita Sen, chief oil market analyst at Energy Aspects in London, said by e-mail yesterday. “Otherwise demand for light crudes has been super weak.”

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ biggest producers, including Saudi Arabia,Iraq and Iran, cut the official selling prices of their crude exports for November amid a glut of new supply from U.S. shale reservoirs and growing competition for market share in Asia. Venezuela is importing light oil to dilute its own heavy Orinoco crude and make it more attractive to refiners.

WTI for December delivery rose as much as 41 cents to $81.83 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $81.80 at 2:31 p.m. Singapore time. Brent added 40 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $86.43 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.


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