Bloomberg News

Chevron Sells Forties Crude at Lower Price; Unipec Seeks Urals

January 24, 2012

Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Chevron Corp. sold North Sea Forties crude at a lower price. China International United Petroleum & Chemical Corp., or Unipec, failed to buy Russian Urals blend for a third day even after raising its bid.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, plans to export at least 67 cargoes of crude for loading in March, according to shipping plans obtained by Bloomberg News.

North Sea

Chevron sold the Forties cargo loading on Feb. 6 to Feb. 8 to Vitol Group at 70 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent, compared with yesterday’s trade at a discount of 55 cents, according to a Bloomberg News survey of traders monitoring the Platts trading window.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc failed to sell Forties for Feb. 11 to Feb. 13 at 40 cents less than Dated Brent, while Trafigura Beheer BV was unable to find a buyer for a Feb. 8 to Feb. 10 lot at a discount of 30 cents to the benchmark, the survey showed.

Reported North Sea trading typically occurs during the Platts window, which ends at 4:30 p.m. London time. Before the session, Forties loading in 10 to 25 days was 43 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent, unchanged from yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Brent for March settlement traded at $110.16 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at the close of the window, down from $110.61 yesterday. The April contract was at $110.11, a discount of 5 cents to March.

Mediterranean/Urals

Unipec failed to buy 100,000 metric tons of Urals for Feb. 14 to Feb. 18 delivery to Rotterdam at 55 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent, compared with a 65 cents discount yesterday, the survey showed.

Eni SpA didn’t manage to buy 140,000 tons of Urals for Feb. 3 to Feb. 7 delivery to Augusta, Italy, at 90 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent, according to the survey.

The grade was 82 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent in the Mediterranean, unchanged from yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Shell sought to buy 60,000 to 80,000 tons of Siberian Light for Feb. 9 to Feb. 13 at a premium of $1.20 a barrel to Dated Brent without success, while Exxon Mobil failed to buy 600,000 barrels of Azeri Light for Feb. 13 to Feb. 18 at $3 a barrel more than Dated Brent, the survey showed.

The European Union’s decision to ban purchases of Iranian crude will “considerably tighten” the market for sour, or high-sulfur, grades in the middle of the year as refiners seek alternative blends, JBC Energy GmbH said.

“Although some of the lost supply may be met by Saudi Arabia, EU buyers will have little choice but to turn to spot supplies,” the Vienna-based consultant said in an e-mailed report. “Russian Urals will no doubt be the clear choice for regional refiners.”

West Africa

Shipments of Nigerian crude for March will total 60.7 million barrels, or 1.96 million barrels a day, according to loading programs.

The country will ship 13 cargoes of Qua Iboe, eight Forcados, seven Agbami, six Bonny Light, five Bonga, four Escravos, four Brass River, four Erha, three Amenam, two Pennington, two Antan, two Okwori, two Okono, two EA, two Yoho and one Abo, the schedules show. The program of Akpo crude is not available.

Qua Iboe crude was at a premium of $2.51 a barrel to Dated Brent, unchanged from yesterday, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

--With assistance from Lananh Nguyen and Claire Borchers in London. Editors: Raj Rajendran, Alessandro Vitelli

To contact the reporter on this story: Sherry Su in London at lsu23@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net


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