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By Reem Shamseddine
KHOBAR, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has raised the price of its flagship Arab Light crude oil for customers in Asia, who buy more than half its crude exports, to a record premium to Oman/Dubai prices while cutting costs for U.S. and European buyers.
In the third consecutive monthly price rise for its biggest buyers, Saudi Aramco has set the Arab Light price for Asia at Oman/Dubai plus $2.70 per barrel for November, up from $1.65 for October 2011 and 35 cents above the previous record premium set for November 2007.
Middle East crude prices were soaring in Asia ahead of the winter heating season until a refinery fire in Singapore last week threatened to dampen demand. Some traders had been expecting the closure of the 500,000 barrel per day refinery, which consumes Arab Light, to temper Saudi official selling price (OSP) increases for next month.
The world's biggest crude exporter cut the price of its Arab Light crude to the United States by 40 cents to the Argus Sour Crude Index (ASCI) minus $0.20 a barrel, while cutting the Mediterranean market price by 40 cents to the Brent weighted average (BWAVE) price minus $1.10/bbl, the source said.
Below is a table showing the full FOB prices for October in U.S. dollars. Saudi term crude supplies to Asia are priced as a differential to the Oman/Dubai average: ASIA OCTOBER NOVEMBER CHANGE SUPER LIGHT +5.35 +5.65 +0.30 EXTRA LIGHT +3.85 +4.65 +0.80 LIGHT +1.65 +2.70 +1.05 MEDIUM -0.30 +1.15 +1.45 HEAVY -2.15 -0.45 +1.70
Saudi term crude supplies to the United States are priced as a differential to the Argus Sour Crude Index (ASCI). UNITED STATES OCTOBER NOVEMBER CHANGE EXTRA LIGHT +2.75 +1.80 -0.95 LIGHT +0.20 -0.20 -0.40 MEDIUM -2.15 -2.15 -0.00 HEAVY -4.45 -3.75 -0.70
Prices at Ras Tanura destined for Northwest Europe are set against Brent crude weighted average (BWAVE): NW EUROPE OCTOBER NOVEMBER CHANGE EXTRA LIGHT +2.30 +1.15 -1.15 LIGHT -0.70 -1.40 -0.70 MEDIUM -2.70 -3.25 -0.55 HEAVY -5.00 -5.40 -0.40
Prices at Ras Tanura for Saudi oil destined for the Mediterranean are set against the BWAVE:
MED OCTOBER NOVEMBER CHANGE EXTRA LIGHT +2.15 +1.20 -0.95 LIGHT -0.70 -1.10 -0.40 MEDIUM -2.65 -2.80 -0.15 HEAVY -4.95 -4.80 +0.15 (Writing by Daniel Fineren; Editing by Anthony Barker)