Record trading of Dubai crude by two Chinese state companies this month on a decades-old oil pricing system has pushed the benchmark higher, even as other grades are being pressed lower by a global glut. The strong Dubai trade has forced Middle East producers to raise official selling prices (OSPs), driving Asian buyers to seek cheaper oil elsewhere or cut refinery runs due to low margins. Chinaoil and Unipec, trading units of PetroChina and Sinopec, respectively, traded record volumes of crude in early August on pricing agency Platts’ market assessment process. This pushed up prompt physical Dubai prices against future months, creating a backwardated market structure usually associated with supply shortages. In contrast, a global oil glut has kept Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures in contango this year, and most analysts […]