Royal Dutch Shell has bought a total of 15 million barrels of Middle East crude for loading in August through deals on pricing platforms Platts and RIM during this month, according to trade sources and data collected by Reuters.
This would be the largest purchase by a single company through the pricing platforms since August 2015 when Chinaoil, PetroChina’s trading arm, bought 39 million barrels of Middle East crude, said three sources that participate in the market.
Shell’s purchases include 18 cargoes of Upper Zakum, seven Murban cargoes, four Oman cargoes and one cargo of Das Blend, the data showed. Each cargo is 500,000 barrels.
The sellers included Unipec, the trading arm of China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, Total SA, BP Plc, Vitol SA, Chevron Corp, Petro-Diamond, the trading unit of Mitsubishi Corp, GS Caltex, Lukoil, Gunvor and PetroChina Co.
Shell’s strong demand has underpinned spot premiums for August-loading cargoes even though demand has weakened from the previous month due to poor refining margins in Asia, multiple traders said.
Shell has since sold 5 million barrels of Middle East crude for loading in or delivery during August and early September to Thailand’s PTT Pcl, India’s Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemical Ltd and Taiwan’s CPC Corp in crude purchase tenders.
Last month, Shell took delivery of 8.5 million barrels of Middle East crude for July loading via trades during S&P Global Platts’ price assessment process for the region’s benchmarks.
Shell does not typically comment on commercial matters.