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Saudi keeps full Sept crude supplies to Asia

Full Sept contracted volumes to 4 Asia buyers as expected.

August 9, 2010 9:05 by

Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude exporter, will supply full contracted volumes of crude oil in September to at least four Asian term buyers, steady with August levels, industry sources said on Monday.

Traders in the region had expected Saudi Arabia to supply full volumes for September as it has restored full contracted volumes to most Asian buyers since January after curbs for most of 2009 that were applied in line with OPEC’s record output cuts.

“The oil price is steady and Saudi does not want to make sudden supply cuts and raise prices,” said a trader who buys Saudi crude. “On the other hand, they do not want to raise supplies. It looks like they want to keep prices at this level.”

One Asian buyer has not received allocations yet, a source close to the matter said.

The U.S. crude oil price hovered around $81 a barrel on Monday after ending last week above $80 for the first time since May.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the source of more than a third of the world’s oil, has left its output ceiling unchanged for more than a year since announcing a record supply curb of 4.2 million barrels per day in December 2008 to combat lower demand and prices.

OPEC next meets on Oct. 14 in Vienna to reconsider policy.

Sources said Saudi Arabia made no changes to the operational tolerance level in the supply allocations, meaning buyers have the option of asking for cargoes to be loaded with up to 10 percent more or less crude than contracted volumes.

(Editing by Michael Watson)

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