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Oil Updates — Crude falls; Indian refiners to cut Saudi oil, Zelensky urges Russian oil embargo
RIYADH: Oil prices clawed back some losses on Thursday after tumbling more than 5 percent to a three-week low in the previous session after consuming nations announced a huge release of oil from emergency reserves to offset supply lost from Russia.
Brent crude is now $102.75 a barrel, and US benchmark West Texas Intermediate is at $97.63 a barrel, as of 8:00 a.m Saudi time.
Indian refiners set to cut May Saudi oil
At least two Indian refiners plan to buy less Saudi oil than usual in May, after the kingdom raised the official selling price to record highs for Asia, two sources told Reuters on Wednesday, as India increases purchases of cheap Russian crude.
State oil producer Saudi Aramco, the world’s top oil exporter, has raised crude prices for all regions, with those to Asia hitting all-time highs.
The Middle East accounts for the bulk of India’s oil imports, with Iraq and Saudi Arabia the top two suppliers to Asia’s third-largest economy.
The sources at the two Indian refiners declined to be named, citing confidentiality.
They did not disclose the volumes refiners would buy, and said the reductions in May would be marginal because they have to lift the amount they have committed to under annual contracts.
To mitigate the rising cost of oil imports, India has turned to Russian barrels that are available at a deep discount to the dated Brent benchmark, citing “national interests.”
Zelensky urges Russian oil embargo
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday called on Western politicians to quickly agree on an embargo on Russian oil, complaining that their failure to do so was costing Ukrainians their lives.
In an early morning video address, Zelensky also said he would continue to insist Russian banks be completely blocked from the international finance system.
Zelensky said Moscow was making so much money from oil exports that it did not need to take peace talks seriously and called on the “democratic world” to shun Russian crude.
“Some politicians are still unable to decide how to limit the flow of petrodollars and oil euros to Russia so as not to put their own economies at risk,” Zelensky said, predicting that an oil embargo would nevertheless be imposed.
“The only question is how many more Ukrainian men, how many more Ukrainian women, the Russian military will have time to kill in order for you, certain politicians — and we know who you are — to find some determination,” he said.
China to control exports of high carbon petchem products
Meanwhile, China has decided to “steadily control” exports of some high carbon petrochemical products and will draw up a list of such goods, its industry ministry said on Thursday, as the country strives to deal with climate change.
China, the world’s biggest greenhouse gases emitter, has cut export quotas of refined oil products such as gasoline and diesel to discourage plants from over-processing, as it has vowed to bring its carbon emissions to a peak by 2030.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) did not elaborate on the details of high carbon-intensive products export restrictions.
It said the country will strictly control new capacity in its oil refining industry and will accelerate the elimination of inefficient and outdated production capacity.
“We will promote refining and chemical projects to reduce the output of refined oil products and increase chemical products, and extend the petrochemical industry chain,” the ministry said in a statement.
Jose Mauro Coelho is Petrobras’ next CEO
Brazil’s government has appointed Jose Mauro Coelho as the next chief executive at state-run oil company Petrobras.
In a note, the government also appointed Marcio Andrade Weber as Petrobras’ next chairman of the board.
(With inputs from Reuters)
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