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OPEC Reference Basket - February 2017

Source: OPEC 2/26/2017, Location: Europe

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The ORB started the year twofold higher than in the same month last year, averaging more than $52/b compared to a little above $25/b in January 2016. M-o-m, the ORB ended January less than 1% higher following a significant gain in December.

For most of January, global oil prices were range-bound, buoyed by expected OPEC production adjustments, while pressured by US output growth and crude oil stock builds. Prices throughout the month were supported by production adjustments as well as positive US economic data, a rally in equities, speculative activities, and a softening US dollar. Nevertheless, weak Chinese trade data, concerns about rising US crude production, and ample supply availability in the Atlantic Basin capped the ongoing rebound in oil prices.

On a monthly basis, the ORB value improved 73cent or 1.4% in January to average $52.40/b. Year-on-year, the ORB was significantly higher in January, up 98% or $25.90.

All ORB component values, except Ecuador’s Oriente, improved slightly over the month, in line with their related marker grades. Spot prices for Dated Brent, WTI and Dubai increased in January by $1.01, 48cent and $1.63, respectively.

Values for the multiple region destination grades – Arab Light, Basrah Light, Iran Heavy and Kuwait Export – increased 55cent or 1.1% to average $51.83/b in January. The Middle Eastern spot components – Murban and Qatar Marine – saw their values lifted by $1.20/b or 2.3% to $54.71/b. These grades continued to be supported further by the healthy sour crude oil market in Asia and Europe. As for the Latin American ORB components, Venezuelan Merey increased by 95cent or 2.1% to average $46.81/b, while Ecuador’s Oriente was almost unchanged at $48.64/b, down just 3cent or 0.1%. Combined, the light sweet crudes from West and North Africa – Saharan Blend, Es Sider, Girassol, Bonny Light and Gabon’s Rabi – gained 99cent or 1.9% to $54.09/b.

On 10 February, the ORB stood at $53.23/b, 83cent above the January average.

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