Bloomberg News

BP Sells Gasoline; Gunvor to Buy Antwerp Refinery: Oil Products

March 02, 2012

BP Plc and Total SA sold gasoline in northwest Europe. Gasoil for March rose on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.

Gunvor Group Ltd. will buy the 107,500 barrel-a-day Antwerp refinery in Belgium from insolvent Swiss refiner Petroplus Holdings AG and plans to restart the plant as soon as possible.

Light Products

Gasoline (MOGEEURB) barges for immediate loading in Amsterdam- Rotterdam-Antwerp traded at $1,106 to $1,110 a metric ton with about 13,000 tons changing hands, according to a survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Argus Bulletin Board. That was within the range of yesterday’s trades at $1,100 to $1,115.

BP and Total were the two sellers of the Eurobob grade, to which ethanol is added to make finished fuel. Cargill Inc. and Noble Group bought for a second day.

The product’s crack, or premium to Brent crude, dropped to $11.17 a barrel, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a London-based crude and fuel broker. The spread climbed to $11.41 a barrel yesterday, the most since May 13.

Gasoline inventories in the region are “significantly below the five-year range,” as companies export the product to the Middle East and West Africa which have a scarcity, Gareth Lewis-Davies, senior energy strategist at BNP Paribas SA, said in a report today.

Naphtha’s discount to Brent widened to $5.07 a barrel from $4.29 yesterday, PVM data showed.

Middle Distillates

March gasoil rose for a second day, gaining $8.25 to $1,017.75 a ton on the ICE exchange as of 12:31 p.m. London time. Gasoil for April increased to $1,019.75, keeping the contract’s premium, or backwardation, unchanged at $2.

The fuel’s crack, a measure of refining profitability, was up $2.55 at $12.05 a barrel. It fell to a five month low at $9.51 a barrel in the previous session. Front-month Brent fell 1.1 percent to $124.76 a barrel on the ICE exchange.

Refineries

Gunvor expects to complete the deal to buy the Antwerp refinery in six to eight weeks, the company said in a statement today, without disclosing financial details. All of the plant’s staff will be retained, the trader said.

“We are delighted to have won the bid for what will be a significant asset for the group as we look to expand our presence and trading activities in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam- Antwerp region,” Torbjorn Tornqvist, Gunvor’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in the statement.

To contact the reporters on this story: Rupert Rowling at rrowling@bloomberg.net

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


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