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Aramco Delays Some Oil Loadings For PetroChina After Attacks

Saudi Arabia’s state oil giant Aramco has told PetroChina that some loadings of light crude oil for October would be delayed up by to around 10 days, after the attacks on critical Saudi oil infrastructure this weekend, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing a senior Chinese state oil source familiar with the issue.

Aramco, however, will supply the same volumes and grades to PetroChina in October as requested by the Chinese state oil firm. In the loadings for September, Aramco will replace some light crude oil volumes with heavier oil grades without delays in deliveries or changes in the volumes as per contract, the source told Reuters.

The attacks on the Abqaiq facility and the Khurais oil field in Saudi Arabia on Saturday sparked a massive fire at a crude processing plant essential to global oil supplies. The closure impacted more than 5 million barrels of crude oil processing per day, affecting 5 percent of the world’s daily oil production.

The onshore Khurais oil field has the capacity to produce 1.2 million bpd of Arab Light, according to EIA estimates. The Abqaiq facility processes crude oil from the major Saudi oil fields Ghawar, Shaybah, and Khurais. All three fields produce Arab Light or Arab Extra Light grades. Ghawar has the capacity to pump 5.8 million bpd of Arab Light, while Shaybah has a capacity of 1 million bpd of Arab Extra Light, according to EIA estimates based on data from Saudi Aramco, Arab Oil and Gas Journal, and IHS Markit.

While Aramco is still assessing the damage and the potential timeline for restoring half of its daily oil supply, the company has informed some of its major Asian customers that despite Saturday’s attacks, customers would receive all the oil supply they had contracted—although some lighter grades would likely be replaced with heavier crude grades.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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