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Asia's oil deficit to widen by 2025 - Total

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Asia’s oil deficit will widen to 35 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2025, up about 30 percent from the current 27 million bpd, amplifying global trade flow imbalances, a senior executive at French oil and energy group Total said.

At the same time, Europe’s imports will be stable at 10 million bpd, while exports from North America and the Middle East will increase, said Thomas Waymel, the company’s president of trading and shipping.

The United States will export shale oil, but its refineries will continue to import medium and heavy sour grades, Waymel said during the Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference (APPEC) in Singapore.

Regulatory changes like IMO 2020, which will cap sulphur content in ship fuel, will be another driver for growth and changing trade flows, he said.

“The fuel oil flows will be reduced. At the same time, the shipping industry will need distillates ... so Europe and Singapore will attract more distillates,” Waymel said.

New trade flows might emerge for high sulphur fuel oil either in coker capacity or power plants switching back from coal or gas to high sulphur fuel oil.

Light sweet crude will be more in demand, while heavy sour grades will need to be processed by complex refineries, he said.

“Regulatory changes will dramatically affect an increase in flows of both crude and products. It should also have positive impact on freight rates which is finally good news for ship owners,” he said.

Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan; editing by Richard Pullin

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