Oil prices rise moderately on reports of Saudi cuts to Asia sales

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Asia is a key market for every exporter of crude oil and so far, Saudi Arabia has spared it from cuts in order to hold onto its prized market share, which is already under threat from Russian Federation, the USA, and Iran.

An official familiar with the matter told Reuters that Saudi Arabian state oil company Aramco will decrease designated customer allocation next month by almost 520,000 barrels per day (bpd). On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in September shed 22 cents, or 0.5%, to settle at $49.17.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose 0.2% to $52.46 a barrel.

The Saudis "continue to do their best to support the market by cutting exports", said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.

However, it is unclear how lasting the impact of the Saudi cut will have on a market plagued by underlying concerns over a global oil glut.


Libya was exempted from a push to cut global production and bolster oil prices led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other big producers like Russian Federation.

"(While) it helps to lift sentiment in the short term, there's no guarantee of long-term price support as other oil exporters including Russian Federation, the USA and Iran rush to fill the shortfall", Brennock said.

Officials from a joint OPEC and non-OPEC technical committee met in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday to discuss ways to increase compliance with the deal to cut 1.8 million bpd in production. He said he would be looking to see whether the summit participants address the issue. "That has been the problem of the cartel for many years now".

Another major topic expected to be discussed at the meeting was the inclusion of Libya into the output-cap effort. Separately, the Kingdom said it would pressure other OPEC members to improve their compliance rate with the deal, but there is still the question of Libya and Nigeria, both exempt from the cuts, which are ramping up their oil output at a respectable rate.

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