Bloomberg News

BP Sells Forties at Two-Month Low; Two More April Lots Dropped

March 30, 2012

BP Plc sold North Sea Forties (EUCSFORT) at the biggest discount to Dated Brent in two months, while Royal Dutch Shell Plc failed to buy a shipment of the blend at the highest premium in nearly two weeks. There’s a 10-day gap between the loading dates of the two cargoes.

Two more cargoes of Forties crude for loading in April were dropped, bringing total cancellations for next month to three shipments, according to four people with knowledge of the export program. No bids or offers were made for Russian Urals in Europe for the second day.

North Sea

BP sold Forties for loading on April 10 to April 12 to Trafigura Beheer BV at a discount of 40 cents a barrel to Dated Brent (EUCRBRDT), the lowest since Jan. 26, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts trading window. The grade was last sold at a premium of 5 cents on March 23.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc was unable to buy at 50 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent for April 20 to April 26 loading, compared with its bid at a discount of 40 cents yesterday for an April 15 to April 20 shipment, 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 5 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent, compared with a premium of 10 cents yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Brent for May settlement traded at $123.14 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, up from $123 yesterday. The June contract was at $122.33, a discount of 81 cents to May.

The consignments with parcel numbers F0415 and F0418 were removed from the program, said the people, who declined to be identified because the information is confidential. Each lot is for 600,000 barrels.

At the same time, cargo F0411 was delayed by 14 days to begin loading on April 28, the people said. Shell was the owner of the three cargoes.

Total SA is preparing to drill two emergency wells at its Elgin platform in the U.K. North Sea as it leaks natural gas for a sixth day.

About 200,000 cubic meters of gas a day, equivalent to about 1,200 barrels of oil, is escaping, Philippe Guys, Total’s managing director for U.K. exploration and production, told reporters today in Aberdeen, Scotland. The fuel is probably leaking above water and the source is a rock formation above the producing reservoir of the field.

Mediterranean/Urals

Urals (EUCSURNW) was at $3.60 a barrel less than Dated Brent in northwest Europe today, unchanged from the previous session, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

OAO Rosneft sold seven Urals crude cargoes via a tender for loading in April from the Baltic Sea port of Primorsk to Vitol Group, Total SA, Shell and BP Plc, two traders who participate in the market said.

Vitol won three cargoes, Shell got two consignments, Total and BP received one lot each, the people said, declining to be identified because the information is confidential.

OAO Surgutneftegas issued a tender to sell one 135,000 metric-ton cargo of Urals crude for April 14 to April 15 loading from the port of Novorossiysk on the Black Sea, according to two traders involved in the region’s oil market. The tender closes April 2.

West Africa

Nigeria’s benchmark Qua Iboe (AFCSQUA1) blend was at a premium of $2.67 a barrel to Dated Brent, down 3 cents 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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