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US refiner picks up Malaysian oil cargo as oversupply reshapes trade routes

[SINGAPORE] US refiner Par Pacific has imported a cargo of Malaysian crude oil to its Honolulu plant, the first imports from the Southeast Asian country in a year.

The rare shipment shows how a global oversupply of crude oil has not only pushed oil prices to 13-year lows, but also changed traditional trade routes, as refiners can increasingly cherry-pick cargoes.

Houston-based Par Pacific Holdings, formerly Par Petroleum, bought 730,000 barrels of light sweet Malaysian crude, of which the Kikeh grade made up 630,000 barrels, with the Tembikai grade making up the rest, ClipperData said.

It was the first time these grades had been delivered to a buyer in the United States, it said.

The United States last imported a cargo of crude oil from Malaysia in January last year, while prior imports date back to 2010, data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed.

Par Pacific was not immediately available for comment.