Bloomberg News

ESPO Premiums for April Slide Lower; Qatar Marine Moves Higher

March 15, 2012

Russia’s East Siberia Pacific Ocean pipeline crude, or ESPO, sold at lower premiums, while Qatar’s marine grade oil was assessed at the highest in more than three months.

TNK-BP (TNBP), the Russian oil venture, sold two cargoes of ESPO for April loading, one each to Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) and Sinochem International Co. (600500), according to four traders who declined to be identified because the information is confidential.

The 100,000 metric-ton cargoes sold at premiums of about $3.20 to $4.10 a barrel to Middle East benchmark Dubai, according to two of the traders. On March 13, OAO Surgutneftegas, Russia’s fourth-largest oil producer, was said to sell ESPO crude for loading in April at premiums of about $3.80 to $4.30 a barrel.

Qatar (PGCPQRLD) Marine rose 7 cents to 23 cents above its official selling price. It was assessed at a premium for the first time since Dec. 7, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News. Assessments for Abu Dhabi’s Murban (PGCPMURB) was unchanged at 28 cents above its official selling price, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Dubai crude’s backwardation, when the price for delivery now is greater than that for later, fell by 1 cent. Swaps for April were $2.84 a barrel more than June, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a London-based broker.

The April Brent-Dubai (PVMMDBSP) exchange for swaps, which measures the European benchmark’s premium against the Middle East grade, was unchanged at $3.25 a barrel. The May EFS rose 1 cent to $3.89.

Oman crude for May fell 43 cents to $123.57 on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange at 6:28 p.m. Singapore time, with 1,618 contracts traded. The contract settled at $124.05 at 12:30 p.m. Dubai time.

There were no Dubai partial cargoes traded, according to a survey of buyers who monitor the Platts pricing window.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ramsey Al-Rikabi in Singapore at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at

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