Return of Japanese refineries boosts Middle East oil

On The Wires: Middle East oil rises on signs Japan's refiners are restarting to work.

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SINGAPORE // Middle East oil for sale to Asia rose for a second day on signs Japanese refiners are returning plants to service after the March 11 earthquake.

Qatar Marine for May loading gained 1 cent to a premium of 11 cents a barrel to its official selling price for May loading, Bloomberg data showed. Murban, produced by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), remained at a premium of 25 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation resumed operations at its Negishi refinery today, bringing back two crude distillation units totalling 270,000 barrels of processing capacity, the company said through a spokesman. The temblor disrupted supplies from plants accounting for about 1.3 million barrels a day of the country's refining capacity, or 29 per cent of the total.

Oman oil for immediate loading fell $1.15, or 1 per cent, to $109.10 a barrel today, according to Bloomberg data. Dubai for loading in May was down 1 per cent at $108.77 and Murban crude declined 1 per cent to $112.38.

Oman futures for May delivery gained $2.50 to $110 a barrel on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange at 6:04pm. Singapore time, with 875 contracts traded. The settlement price was set at $108.97 a barrel at 12:30pm Dubai time.

The Brent-Dubai exchange for swaps, or EFS, for May widened 13 cents to $6.48 a barrel, according to data from PVM Oil Associates, a brokerage. The exchange for swaps for June increased 11 cents to $6.41.

Bloomberg News