Saudi Arabia increased the oil prices it charges to U.S. buyers on Thursday but cut them in Asia as it shifts a battle over market share from America to the Far East.
In an email to clients, Saudi Aramco said it was increasing its U.S. prices for light oil delivery in March by 15 cents a barrel, after a U.S. price reduction for the previous month. But it is now also cutting the price for Asia by 90 cents, wsj.com reports.
Last fall, the world's largest oil exporter started sharp cuts in its prices in the U.S. as it sought to defend its share of the American market against a domestic production boom.
The move contributed to global oil prices falling by more than half, as the effect was compounded by a Saudi-led decision to keep a production ceiling unchanged at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting in November.
Now the kingdom is also facing competition in Asia from many fellow OPEC producers, whose sales have been displaced from the U.S.