Bloomberg News

BP Sells Forties at Lower Price; 21 Nigeria Crude Cargoes Unsold

January 10, 2013

BP Plc sold a cargo of North Sea Forties crude at a lower premium than the previous trade. There were no bids or offers for Russian Urals grade.

At least 21 Nigerian crude cargoes for loading in February, or 31 percent, remain unsold because of reduced European refining margins and rising U.S. shale oil output, said three traders who participate in the market.

North Sea

Vitol bought Forties consignment F0220 for loading Jan. 28 to Jan. 30 at $1.15 a barrel more than Dated Brent, the lowest in a week, a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window showed. That compares with a Jan. 21 to Jan. 23 lot it bought at a $1.50 premium on Jan. 4.

The lot was advanced to January, two people with knowledge of the shipping schedule said. It had been added to the February program, bringing the total number of Forties shipments for sale next month to 20, they said, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential.

Reported crude trading typically occurs during the Platts window, which ends at 4:30 p.m. London time. Forties loading in 10 to 25 days was unchanged at $1.55 more than Dated Brent, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That’s the most since March 9.

Brent for February settlement traded at $112.27 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, compared with $111.64 in the previous session. The March contract was at $111.55, a discount of 72 cents to February.

Mediterranean/Urals

There were no bids or offers for Russian Urals, according to the Platts survey. Yesterday, Petraco SpA failed to buy Russian Urals crude at a $1.10 discount to Dated Brent on a delivered basis to Rotterdam.

The Urals differential to Dated Brent in the Mediterranean was at minus 66 cents, 12 cents narrower than yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In northwest Europe, the discount shrank to $1.14 from $1.38 in the previous session, the data showed.

PKN Orlen SA, Poland’s largest oil company, bought Russian Urals crude from Glencore International Plc, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

Orlen purchased the 100,000 metric-ton cargo for loading from Primorsk port on Jan. 24 to Jan. 28, the people said also asking not to be identified because the information is confidential.

The company earlier this week bought a Jan. 21 to Jan. 25 cargo from OAO Lukoil’s Litasco unit.

West Africa

Benchmark Nigerian Qua Iboe blend was unchanged at $2.37 a barrel more than Dated Brent, Bloomberg data show.

The number of unsold Nigerian cargoes is more than normal for this stage of the month, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is confidential. Unsold grades for export next month include six lots of Qua Iboe, four Brass, three Forcados, two each of Bonny Light, Erha and Usan grade and one of Abo and Yoho, the people said.

Nigeria plans to cut exports in February to 67 cargoes totaling 2.19 million barrels a day, compared with 75 shipments this month, according to shipping schedules obtained by Bloomberg News.

Indian Oil Corp., the nation’s largest refiner, bought via a tender four cargoes of West African crudes for loading in March, according to four traders with knowledge of the matter.

The company bought one shipment each of Nigerian Qua Iboe and Okoro from BP and awarded China International United Petroleum & Chemical Corp., known as Unipec, one lot each of Antan and Angolan Nemba blend, they said, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rupert Rowling in London at rrowling@bloomberg.net

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


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