RIYADH: Oil prices slipped on Tuesday as investor concern over the risk of a US debt default dampened risk appetite, although a tighter market due to a seasonal rise in gasoline demand and supply cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+, lent support.
US President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy ended talks on Monday with no agreement on how to raise the US government’s $31.4 trillion debt ceiling.
Brent crude fell 13 cents, or 0.17 percent, to $75.86 a barrel by 11:35 a.m. Saudi time, while US West Texas Intermediate crude slipped by 12 cents, or 0.17 percent, to $71.93.
Asia to drive oil demand growth in H2, says Vitol
Asia will lead oil demand growth of around 2 million barrels per day in the second half of 2023, a senior executive at Vitol said.
According to Mike Muller, Vitol Asia president, this could potentially lead to a supply shortage and raise prices.
“We are going into the second half of the year where, largely thanks to Asian demand growth, the world is going to need about 2 million bpd more than it needs now,” said Muller at the Middle East Petroleum & Gas Conference in Dubai.
“For those of you asking whether OPEC+ needs to take more off the market or not, I will then let you draw your own conclusions,” he said.
Shell cuts oil imports at Singapore refinery amid repairs
Shell has cut crude oil imports at its Singapore refinery this month and is relying on smaller tankers after extending repairs at its single buoy mooring facility till June, according to shipping data.
The company is moving crude from very large crude carriers onto smaller Aframax tankers through ship-to-ship transfers before discharging them at another jetty on Pulau Bukom, the island south of Singapore where the refinery is located, shipping data from Refinitiv Eikon and Kpler showed.
The transfers typically add to refiners’ transportation costs and come when companies are already contending with depressed processing margins in the region.
Crude imports to Bukom fell to 3 million barrels in May from 7.65 million in April, Kpler data showed on Tuesday, while Refinitiv data said shipments dropped to 3.2 million barrels from 6.9 million.
Repair works at the SBM started in February and have been extended to June, according to public notices on the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore website.
(With input from Reuters)