Bloomberg News

Mercuria Fails to Buy Forties Crude; BTC Azeri Exports Stable

February 09, 2012

Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) --Mercuria Energy Trading SA failed to buy a cargo of North Sea Forties crude at a higher price than yesterday. Gunvor Group Ltd. didn’t manage to buy Russian Urals in the Mediterranean for a fourth day even after raising its bid to the most in about two months.

Daily exports of Azeri Light blend from a port in Turkey will be little changed next month, according to a loading program obtained by Bloomberg News.

North Sea

Mercuria was unable to buy Forties for loading on March 3 to March 6 at 45 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, 5 cents above its bid yesterday, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders monitoring the Platts trading window.

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 62 cents more than Dated Brent, the highest since Jan. 5, up from a premium of 37 cents yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Brent for March settlement traded at $118.11 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at the close of the window, up from $116.25 yesterday. The April contract was at $117.63, a discount of 48 cents to March.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc halted production at its Gannet Alpha platform after a natural gas leak on Feb. 6, the company said.

“The platform was successfully down-manned of all non- essential personnel as a precaution on Monday evening,” Europe’s largest oil company said in an e-mailed statement.

The share of Buzzard crude in the Forties blend rose to 37 percent in the week to Feb. 5, from 35 percent a week earlier, BP Plc said on its website.

Exports of Flotta crude will be two cargoes of 650,000 barrels in March, compared with three this month, which includes one deferred from January, according to a loading schedule obtained by Bloomberg News.

Mediterranean/Urals

Gunvor failed to buy 80,000 metric tons of Urals for Feb. 22 to Feb. 26 delivery to Augusta, Italy at 55 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, the highest bid since Dec. 9, compared with a premium of 20 cents yesterday, the survey showed.

No bids or offers were made for the blend in northwest Europe for the second day. The grade was at 15 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent in the region today, unchanged from yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Shipments of Azeri Light for March will total 23.15 million barrels or 746,774 barrels a day, compared with 744,828 in February, the plan shows.

The March program comprises 31 cargoes, three more than February. It includes four shipments of 1 million barrels each, 14 lots of 800,000 barrels, six of 650,000, six 600,000 barrels, and one consignment of 450,000 barrels, according to the plan.

Iraq raised the official selling prices of its Basrah Light and Kirkuk crude for March delivery to Europe, the state marketing agency said, following an increase by Saudi Arabia this week.

Basrah Light was set at a discount of $2.55 a barrel to Dated Brent, compared with a discount of $4.35 for this month, according to the e-mailed statement. It raised the price for Kirkuk blend by $1.65 to $1.25 a barrel less than the benchmark.

Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world’s largest crude exporter, will supply full volumes in March to customers in Europe, unchanged from this month, according to three refinery officials with knowledge of the matter.

OAO Rosneft awarded a Urals tender for six March cargoes of 100,000 tons each from the Baltic Sea port of Primorsk to Shell, said two traders who participate in the market.

West Africa

Qua Iboe crude was at $2.53 a barrel more than Dated Brent, unchanged from yesterday, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

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

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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