Bloomberg News

BP Buys Sokol at Lower Premiums; Qatar Marine Drops: Asia Crude

March 23, 2012

Premiums for light, low-sulfur crudes extended declines in the Asia-Pacific region as Russia’s Sokol oil sold for as much as $1 a barrel lower than previous deals. Qatar Marine fell to the biggest discount to its official selling prices in more than three weeks.

BP Plc (BP/) bought 700,000 barrels of Sokol at a premium of $7 to benchmark Dubai and Oman oil prices, according to two traders who participate in the market, declining to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak to the media. ONGC Videsh Ltd., the overseas unit of India’s largest oil explorer, sold the shipment, which loads May 16 to May 19.

Russian producer OAO Rosneft sold May cargoes of Sokol to BP and Warly at premiums as much as $8.10 a barrel, according to three traders on March 14.

Low-sulfur crude grades loading in May, including Vietnam’s Rang Dong and Malaysia’s Kikeh and Tapis, all sold this week at lower premiums than shipments for April.

ONGC has offered to sell 700,000 barrels of Sokol crude for loading May 26 to May 29, according to a notice sent to potential buyers. Bids are due March 28.

Qatar Marine (PGCPQRMR) fell 1 cent to a discount of 24 cents below its official selling price, the most since March 1, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Profits from making gasoil for refiners in Asia fell to $15.23 a barrel today from $16.31 a barrel at the end of last week.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Total SA (FP) sold crude to Bharat Petroleum Corp., India’s second-largest state refiner, for loading in May, according to three traders who declined to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak with the media.

Libyan Crude

The company bought about 1 million barrels of Libya’s Mellitah grade from Total, and about 1 million barrels of Nigerian Qua Iboe and Yoho crudes to be co-loaded in a very large crude carrier from Exxon, the traders said.

The May Brent-Dubai (PVMMDBSP) exchange for swaps, which measures the European benchmark’s premium against the Middle East grade, fell 3 cents to $3.72 a barrel, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a London-based brokerage. The June EFS fell 5 cents to $3.84.

Oman crude for May rose 50 cents to $122.30 on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange at 5:30 p.m. Singapore time, with 1,672 contracts traded. The contract settled at $122.26 at 12:30 p.m. Dubai time.

To contact the reporters on this story: Pratish Narayanan in Mumbai at; Ramsey Al-Rikabi in Singapore at

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

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