Bloomberg News

Phibro Fails to Sell Forties Crude; Brent Pipeline Still Closed

January 16, 2013

Phibro, a unit of Occidental Petroleum Corp., failed to sell North Sea Forties crude, its first offer in about four months. Total SA bid unsuccessfully for the grade at a higher differential than yesterday’s trade.

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC, known as Taqa, said it is working to restore most of the oil production flowing through the Brent pipeline system that was halted after a platform leak two days ago.

North Sea

Phibro offered Forties lot F0206 for loading Feb. 6 to Feb. 8 at 40 cents a barrel more than the cash cost of North Sea crudes for March, a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window showed.

Total failed to find a seller for the blend loading on Feb. 2 to Feb. 5 at 80 cents more than the benchmark, the survey showed. That compares with a cargo the company bought yesterday at plus 70 cents.

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 gained 3 cents to 70 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Brent for February settlement traded at $110.33 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, compared with $111.29 in the previous session. The more actively traded March contract was at $109.88, a discount of 45 cents to February.

A “small” oil leak was discovered at the Cormorant Alpha platform at 4:15 p.m. London time on Jan. 14, Taqa said yesterday. That platform handles flows of 90,000 barrels a day into the Brent pipeline system, which includes 10,000 barrels from the Cormorant field itself and the rest from other nearby sites that were shut as a precaution: including Penguin, Dunlin, Thistle, Murchison, North Cormorant, Alwyn, Tern and Eider.

“Taqa is currently evaluating plans to restore the throughput of an estimated 80,000 barrels per day in the Brent pipeline, excluding any Cormorant Alpha production,” the company said today in a statement.

Mediterranean/Urals

There were no bids or offers for Russian Urals for a fifth session, according to the Platts survey.

The Urals differential to Dated Brent in the Mediterranean narrowed 10 cents to minus 48 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In northwest Europe, the discount narrowed to $1.15 from $1.19 yesterday, the data showed.

Russia plans to export two fewer cargoes of Urals from its ports in the first week of February, a provisional loading program obtained by Bloomberg News shows.

Shipments from the Baltic port of Primorsk from Jan. 31 to Feb. 7 will total 12 cargoes of 100,000 metric tons each, according to the plan. That compares with 13 lots in the equivalent period this month.

Three 100,000 ton consignments will load from Ust-Luga on the Baltic Sea over the same period, unchanged from this month, according to the schedule.

Russia will ship four lots of Urals from the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk in the first six days of February, totaling 440,000 tons, the program shows. That is one 80,000 ton cargo less than in January. The port will also handle an 80,000 ton consignment of Siberian Light crude over the period, unchanged from this month.

OAO Surgutneftegas issued a tender to sell three cargoes of Urals for loading next month from two Baltic ports, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg News.

The company is offering two shipments from Primorsk, loading from Feb. 2 to Feb. 3 and another from Feb. 5 to Feb. 6, the document shows. The third cargo is for loading from Ust-Luga from Feb. 6 to Feb. 7. The tender closes tomorrow at 3 p.m. Moscow time. Each consignment is of 100,000 metric tons.

West Africa

Benchmark Nigerian Qua Iboe blend fell 3 cents to $2.19 a barrel more than Dated Brent, Bloomberg data show.

Angola will export 57 cargoes of crude in March, compared with 50 in February, a preliminary loading program obtained by Bloomberg News shows.

Shipments will climb to 54.13 million barrels in March, or 1.75 million barrels a day, the plan shows. That compares with 47.19 million barrels, or 1.69 million barrels next month, according to a final shipping schedule for February.

The March schedule includes one Palanca lot deferred from the end of January and one Kuito cargo postponed from February. The consignments range from 300,000 to 1 million barrels.

Equatorial Guinea plans to reduce exports of Ceiba crude in March to two cargoes, one less than February, a loading program obtained by Bloomberg News showed. It will ship the first lot from March 15 to March 16 and the second on March 28 to March 29, the schedule showed. Each lot is for 1 million barrels.

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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