Bloomberg News

BP Seeks Forties Crude; Rosneft Issues Tender to Sell Urals Oil

February 28, 2012

BP Plc failed to buy two cargoes of Forties (EUCSFORT) in the North Sea crude market. OAO Lukoil’s Litasco unit didn’t manage to purchase Russian Urals blend at a lower price in the Mediterranean.

OAO Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil producer, issued a tender to sell 700,000 metric tons of the grade for loading in March.

North Sea

BP sought to buy one lot for loading on March 19 to March 21 at 75 cents-a-barrel more than Dated Brent (EUCRBRDT) and another for March 23 to March 25 at 70 cents, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts trading window. That compares with Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s bid at 90 cents yesterday.

Forties last traded on Feb. 24 at 85 cents more than the cash cost of North Sea crudes for April.

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 93 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, up from 62 cents on yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the highest in a week.

Brent for April settlement traded at $123.12 a barrel a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at the close of the window, down from $124.09 on Feb. 24. The May contract was at $122.20, a discount of 92 cents to April.

The share of North Sea Buzzard crude in the Forties blend rose to 41 percent in the week to Feb. 26, compared with 36 percent a week earlier, BP said today.

Mediterranean/Urals

Litasco failed to buy Urals for March 12 to March 16 delivery to Augusta, Italy at $1.15 a barrel less than Dated Brent, the survey showed. Yesterday, Vitol Group failed to sell 140,000 tons of the blend in the Mediterranean at a 30-cent discount. The grade last traded at minus 95 cents on Feb. 23.

Urals has been boosted this month by “precautionary replacement buying for Iranian barrels,” Edward Morse, head of commodities research at Citigroup Global Markets Inc., said in a note yesterday.

No bids or offers were made for the blend in northwest Europe. On Feb. 24, Vitol sold to Statoil ASA 100,000 tons of Urals (EUCSURNW) for March 5 to March 9 delivery to Rotterdam at 90 cents less than Dated Brent.

Urals was unchanged from yesterday at 85 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent in northwest Europe, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the lowest since Jan. 24.

Rosneft issued a tender to sell seven cargoes of the grade for loading in March from the Baltic Sea port of Primorsk, said two traders who participate in the market.

The tender, which closes tomorrow, offers shipments of 100,000 tons each for loading from March 16 to March 29, according to the people, who declined to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak on the matter.

Libya is pumping 1.4 million barrels a day of crude and is on track to exceed what it produced before last year’s revolt against Muammar Qaddafi, said the chairman of the state-run National Oil Corp.

The NOC expects Libya to pump 1.5 million barrels by early April and 1.7 million by the end of 2012, Nuri Berruien said in an interview yesterday.

West Africa

Qua Iboe (AFCSQUA1) crude was at $2.63 a barrel more than Dated Brent, little changed from yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lananh Nguyen in London at lnguyen35@bloomberg.net

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


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