Bloomberg News

BP Seeks Forties Crude; Cepsa Buys Nigerian Usan Oil From Total

March 02, 2012

BP Plc sought to buy two cargoes of North Sea Forties (EUCSFORT) crude without success after the grade’s premium to Dated Brent rose to a five-month high. Gunvor Group Ltd. failed to sell Russian Urals blend in northwest Europe at a higher price.

Total SA sold 1 million barrels of the new Nigerian Usan crude for loading on April 5 to April 15 to Cia. Espanola de Petroleos SA, or Cepsa, according to three traders who participate in the market.

North Sea

BP didn’t manage to buy one cargo of Forties for March 20 to March 27 loading at $1.25 a barrel more than Dated Brent, and another for March 27 to March 31 at a premium of $1.40 to the benchmark, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts trading window.

Trafigura Beheer BV failed to sell Forties for March 23 to March 25 at $1.60 more than Dated Brent, 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 $1.44 a barrel more than Dated Brent (EUCRBRDT), the highest since Sept. 30, up from $1.13 yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Brent for April settlement traded at $124.37 a barrel a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, up from $124.31 yesterday. The May contract was at $123.29, a discount of $1.08 to April.

“The reasons behind the wider premiums can be attributed to dwindling North Sea production, March cargo deferrals” and eastbound shipments to Asia, analysts led by Vienna-based Johannes Benigni at JBC Energy GmbH said in an e-mailed report.

At least nine cargoes of Forties for loading in March were deferred by one to eight days, according to a survey of five people with the knowledge of the export programs.

Mediterranean/Urals

Gunvor was unable to sell 100,000 metric tons of Urals for March 16 to March 20 delivery to Rotterdam at 85 cents less than Dated Brent, compared with a discount of $1.30 for a transaction yesterday, the survey showed.

No bids or offers were made for the blend in the Mediterranean for the second day. The grade was at $1.15 a barrel less than Dated Brent in the region, compared with a discount of $1.05 yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

OAO Surgutneftegas sold four 100,000-ton cargoes of Urals via a tender to Glencore International Plc, Total and Statoil ASA for loading in March from the Baltic Sea port of Primorsk, said two traders who participate in the market.

Statoil won two cargoes, while Glencore and Total got one each, according to the people, who declined to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak on the matter.

West Africa

Indian Oil Corp. issued a first tender to buy crude for loading in May, a document obtained by Bloomberg News shows. The tender closes on March 8 and offers are valid until the following day.

Qua Iboe (AFCSQUA1) crude was at $2.74 a barrel more than Dated Brent, the highest since Jan. 16, compared with $2.72 yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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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