* Cuts Feb supplies to India's Reliance, HMEL, Malaysia's
* Most North Asia, India buyers receive near full term
* Steady exports to Asia may point to supply cuts in Europe,
(Adds incremental supplies to one North Asia refiner in
By Rania El Gamal and Florence Tan
DUBAI/SINGAPORE, Jan 12 Saudi Arabia has cut
February term crude supplies to refiners in India and Southeast
Asia, seeking to comply with an OPEC deal, but it has held most
of its exports to the rest of Asia steady for a second month,
industry sources said on Wednesday.
State oil giant Saudi Aramco reduced February term supplies
of mainly heavy crude to Indian refiners Reliance Industries
and Hindustan Mittal Energy Ltd (HMEL), as well as to
Malaysia's Petronas, four sources familiar with the
Aramco has also cut oil supplies to another southeast Asian
buyer for a second month in February, one of the sources said.
That means some major oil companies in Europe and the United
States could see reductions of up to 18 percent in their term
volumes for February, the source said.
"Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are focusing their cuts on U.S. and
European customers as they target excess inventories and protect
market share in Asia," Energy Aspects analyst Virendra Chauhan
Saudi Aramco and the other companies could not be reached
for comment. Details on the amounts of the supply reductions
could not be confirmed.
Saudi's February supply reductions to a handful of Asian
refiners mark the start of cuts to a region left untouched in
January at the onset of the OPEC output deal.
The producer maintained strong exports to Asia in January to
protect its market share there and because it gets higher
netbacks on sales to the East than it does for other regions.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
agreed to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in
the first half of 2017 to reduce a global supply glut and
World's top exporter Saudi Arabia cut oil output in January
by at least 486,000 bpd to 10.058 million bpd.
Still, Saudi Aramco kept February supplies to most North
Asian refiners at full volumes for a second month, trade sources
One North Asian refiner received extra crude above its
contractual volume for a second month, a source with direct
knowledge of the matter said.
"I think the Saudis won't touch volumes to Japan, South
Korea and Taiwan. Southeast Asian demand is small when compared
to North Asia," a Singapore-based crude analyst with a European
oil company said.
(Additional reporting by Nidhi Verma in NEW DELHI, Osamu
Tsukimori in TOKYO, Mark Tay in SINGAPORE, Jane Chung in SEOUL,
Reem Shamseddine in KHOBAR, Emily Chow in KUALA LUMPUR, and Meng
Meng and Chen Aizhu in BEIJING; Editing by Tom Hogue)