Abu Dhabi raises crude oil prices on back of rally



A strong oil rally has enabled Abu Dhabi to ask the highest prices in 16 months for its crude. The government-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) on Monday posted prices for March shipments of all four grades of crude it exports, which are between 5.1 and 5.7 per cent higher than for February liftings. The March crude will reach ADNOC's international customers this month and next.

The government selling price for Murban crude, ADNOC's most popular export grade, has been raised to US$78.30 a barrel from $74.20 - a 5.5 per cent rise. In raising its official selling prices, which serve as the starting point for negotiations between commercial buyers and sellers of crude cargoes, Abu Dhabi has followed Riyadh's lead. Saudi Arabia, the biggest OPEC exporter, pushed through price increases for the main grades of crude it sells to the US and Asia.

On Sunday, the state petroleum company Saudi Aramco raised prices for light crude it expects to sell next month. Gulf oil exporters vary in how they set prices. Abu Dhabi announces prices for crude lifted the previous month, based on market conditions and currency fluctuations. For the moment, however, most crude prices are moving up. tcarlisle@thenational.ae

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