One Europe Oil Refiner Said to Get 20% Less Saudi Arabia Crude

(Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia, spearheading OPEC’s quest to eliminate a crude glut, will cut the amount of oil it allocates to one European refining company by about 20 percent, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The restriction, imposed by state oil company Saudi Aramco, will be applied to next month’s supplies, the person said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. It offers a clue about how the kingdom’s planned supply curbs will play out geographically. Separately, Iraq’s state oil marketing company will tell customers to expect reduced volumes next month, a second person said.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries surprised oil markets at the end of November by clinching a deal to limit its collective output by about 1.2 million barrels a day and then enlisting non-member nations to join the effort. The focus of Saudi Arabia’s own cuts was outside of Asia as other regions had bigger surpluses, a Gulf official said Dec. 9.

Saudi Arabia agreed to cut its production to 10.06 million barrels a day at the end of November and the nation’s oil minister, Khalid al-Falih, said Dec. 10 that even deeper cuts were possible. The planned restrictions by Saudi Arabia and Iraq follow similar announcements by the state oil companies of the U.A.E. and Kuwait to their Asian customers. Until now, most European refiners said they hadn’t been informed of Saudi Arabia’s intentions for supply next month.

A second European refiner will receive the amount of oil from the Saudis in January that they had asked for, a person familiar with the matter said Tuesday without stating whether that would be an increase or decrease on prior months. A third refiner, yet to be notified of their January allocations, expects normal contractual supplies next month, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.