Bloomberg News

Shell Sells Forties at Lower Price; Five Cargoes to Be Delayed

February 07, 2012

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc sold a cargo of North Sea Forties crude at a lower price. Gunvor Group Ltd. failed to buy Russian Urals in the Mediterranean even after raising its bid.

Five cargoes of Forties for loading in February and March were delayed by one to four days, according to four people with knowledge of the export program.

North Sea

Shell sold a cargo of Forties for loading on Feb. 21 to Feb. 23 to Exxon Mobil Corp. at 40 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, compared with a premium of 45 cents for a trade yesterday, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders monitoring the Platts trading window.

Total SA failed to buy Forties for Feb. 20 to Feb. 24 at 25 cents more than Dated Brent, while Morgan Stanley didn’t find sellers for a Feb. 25 to Feb. 29 consignment at the same premium to the benchmark, according to the survey.

Chevron Corp. was unable to sell at 60 cents more than Dated Brent for loading on Feb. 28 to March 1, 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 47 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, the highest since Dec. 28, up from a premium of 16 cents yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Brent for March settlement traded at $116.68 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at the close of the window, up from $115.79 yesterday. The April contract was at $116.27, a discount of 41 cents to March.

A Forties shipment with parcel number F0217 will be deferred by one day to Feb. 21 to Feb. 23, while lot F0222 will exported on Feb. 28 to March 1, two days later than scheduled, the people said, declining to be identified because the information is confidential. This will bring total deferrals for this month to seven shipments.

For March loading cargoes, lot F0304 was deferred by one day, F0305 by four days, and F0312 by two days, they said.

Exports of Foinaven crude are scheduled at two cargoes of 590,000 barrels each next month, including one deferred from February, a preliminary loading schedule obtained by Bloomberg News showed.

The Foinaven field to the west of Scotland’s Shetland Islands remain closed after a “small” leak was detected in an underwater pipeline, BP Plc, which operates the stream, said on Jan. 30. The floating production unit was producing 43,000 barrels of oil a day and it may be weeks before it restarts, said Matt Taylor, a BP spokesman based in Aberdeen.

A supertanker loaded with North Sea crude, the fifth since mid-December, is scheduled to arrive in South Korea next month, ship-tracking data from AISLive Ltd. compiled by Bloomberg show.

The very large crude carrier Front Champion is expected to arrive at Ulsan, South Korea on March 16 after loading at Mongstad, Norway on Jan. 21 to Jan. 23, according to the data. Mongstad is the loading terminal for Norwegian Troll and Heidrun grades, according to Statoil ASA.

Mediterranean/Urals

Gunvor failed to buy 80,000 metric tons of Urals for Feb. 27 to March 2 delivery to Augusta, Italy at 25 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, compared with a discount of 5 cent for its bid yesterday, the survey showed.

Statoil didn’t manage to sell Urals for Feb. 28 to March 3 delivery to northwest Europe at 10 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent, according to the survey.

Libya produced 1.36 million barrels a day of crude on Feb. 4, up from a daily average of 1.12 million barrels in January, the state-run National Oil Corp. said.

Including condensate, Libya pumped 1.42 million barrels a day on Feb. 4, up from a daily average of 1.18 million barrels in January, the NOC said in releases posted on its website.

West Africa

Gabon will reduce exports of Rabi Light crude for March to two 650,000-barrel cargoes from three this month, a loading program showed.

Equatorial Guinea will export three cargoes of Aseng crude next month, compared with one for February, a shipping schedule obtained by Bloomberg News showed. The March program comprises two 650,000 barrel cargoes and one shipment of 950,000 barrels, according to the plan.

Qua Iboe crude was at $2.53 a barrel more than Dated Brent, compared with a premium of $2.61 yesterday, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

--With assistance from Robert Tuttle in Doha. 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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