Bloomberg News

Forties Offered at Lower Price; Total Fights Gas Leak at Elgin

March 27, 2012

North Sea Forties (EUCSFORT) blend was offered at a lower price even after the Elgin field, which feeds into the benchmark crude stream, was halted following a gas leak. Statoil ASA sold Russian Urals in northwest Europe at a bigger discount to Dated Brent.

Total SA’s Elgin platform leaked gas for a third day in the U.K. North Sea as neighboring rigs were evacuated to guard against the risk of an explosion.

North Sea

Trafigura Beheer BV failed to sell a cargo of Forties for loading on April 15 to April 17 at 15 cents a barrels more than Dated Brent (EUCRBRDT), compared with its offer yesterday at a premium of 40 cents, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts trading window.

Vitol Group didn’t manage to sell the grade for April 13 to April 15 also at 15 cents more than Dated Brent, while BP Plc didn’t find buyers for April 10 to April 12 cargo at a premium of 10 cents to the benchmark, the survey showed.

BP also failed to sell a cargo of Ekofisk for April 14 to April 16 loading at $1.70 a barrel more than Dated Brent, according to the survey.

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 17 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, compared with a premium of 4 cents yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Brent for May settlement traded at $125.04 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, down from $125.53 yesterday. The June contract was at $124.28, a discount of 76 cents to May.

Total said it will halt drilling at its West Franklin field and move the rig to help stem a gas leak at its Elgin deposit.

It would take a “minimum of six months” to drill a relief well at Elgin, David Hainsworth, health, safety and environment manager for Total Exploration & Production Ltd., said today by telephone from Aberdeen, Scotland.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc plans to start maintenance at its Shearwater oil-and-gas field from today, the company said in an e-mail.

Five cargoes of Forties crude for April loading have been deferred over the past week, three people with the knowledge of the export program said.

The consignment with parcel number F0407 was postponed by nine days to April 18 to April 20, while the other four shipments were delayed by three to four days, the people said, declining to be identified because the information is confidential. Each lot is for 600,000 barrels.

Mediterranean/Urals

Statoil sold 100,000 metric tons of Urals for April 6 to April 10 delivery to Rotterdam to Exxon Mobil Corp. at $3.60 a barrel less than Dated Brent, compared with a discount of $3.20 yesterday, the survey showed.

Vitol didn’t manage to sell 140,000 tons of the blend for April 6 to April 10 delivery to Augusta, Italy, at $3.30 less than Dated Brent, compared with an offer at a discount of $2.40 by OAO Lukoil yesterday, according to the survey.

Urals (EUCSURNW) was at $3.20 a barrel less than Dated Brent in northwest Europe today, down 5 cents from yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Iraq plans to increase its daily exports of Kirkuk crude for April from the Turkish port of Ceyhan by 20 percent from this month, a loading program obtained by Bloomberg News showed.

A total of 24 cargoes of the blend are expected to be shipped next month, amounting to 15.3 million barrels or 510,000 barrels a day, the schedule showed. This compares with plans for 21 consignments totaling 425,484 barrels a day for March.

OAO Surgutneftegas issued a tender to sell three Urals cargoes of 100,000-tons each from the Baltic Sea port of Primorsk, three traders with knowledge of the matter said.

The shipments are for loading in two-day periods starting April 10, April 12 and April 13, according to the people, who declined to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak on the matter. The tender closes tomorrow.

West Africa

Angola plans to cut daily crude exports by 5 percent in May from next month, according to a final loading program obtained by Bloomberg News.

The west African nation would export 55 cargoes amounting to 1.7 million barrels a day, compared with 56 cargoes totaling 1.79 million in April, the final schedules showed.

One shipment each of Girassol and Plutonio blend was dropped from the preliminary schedule, while one consignment of Hungo was increased to 1 million barrels from 950,000 barrels, according to the plan.

Nigeria’s benchmark Qua Iboe (AFCSQUA1) blend was at a premium of $2.76 a barrel to Dated Brent, unchanged from 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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