Bloomberg News

Brent Pipeline Resumes Flows; Nigeria Bonny Crude Price Stable

January 18, 2013

The Brent pipeline system is pumping oil from all North Sea platforms except Cormorant Alpha, the operating company said. There were no bids or offers for North Sea or Russian Urals crudes.

Nigeria left its official selling price for benchmark Bonny Light and Qua Iboe crudes unchanged for February at the highest level in nine months, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. said in an e-mailed statement.

North Sea

There were no bids or offers for North Sea crude, a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window showed.

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 dropped 24 cents to 40 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Brent for March settlement traded at $110.86 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, compared with $110.30 in the previous session. The April contract was at $109.94, a discount of 92 cents to March.

The Brent pipeline, which normally carries about 10 percent of the U.K.’s production, resumed partial pumping yesterday. More crude is now flowing into it because most of the fields have resumed activity, an official at Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. (TAQA) PJSC, known as Taqa, said today by phone from Aberdeen, Scotland. The official declined to say what the current flow rate is.

The pipeline normally handles 90,000 barrels a day, including 10,000 barrels a day from the Cormorant field itself, which is still shut. Taqa detected an oil leak in a leg of the Cormorant Alpha platform, leading to its shutdown on Jan. 14.

The platforms that resumed are Dunlin, Thistle, Northern Producer, Murchison, North Alwyn, Tern, Eider and North Cormorant, the Taqa official said.

A Brent cargo for loading in January was delayed after production disruptions, two people with knowledge of the loading program said.

Brent lot B0105 will now load on Jan. 25 to Jan. 27, four days later than planned, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential.

Total SA, Europe’s third-largest oil company, booked a tanker to haul North Sea Forties crude to South Korea, boosting shipments for this year to 6 million barrels, according to a shipbroker report.

The supertanker Mesdar is set to load 280,000 metric tons of the grade from Feb. 5 to Feb. 10 at Hound Point in the U.K. at a cost of $5.6 million, according to Athens-based Optima Shipbrokers Ltd. CSSA Chartering and Shipping Services SA, Total’s shipping unit, booked the very large crude carrier, the report showed. Hound Point is the loading terminal for Forties.

Mediterranean/Urals

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

The Urals differential to Dated Brent in the Mediterranean narrowed 10 cents to minus 33 cents a barrel, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the least since Dec. 21. In northwest Europe, the discount widened to $1.17 from $1.13 yesterday, the data showed.

Novorossiysk, Russia’s largest Black Sea port, may remain shut until Jan. 21 because of storms, according to OAO Transneft. Four tankers have been unable to load crude since the storms began on Jan. 15, Igor Dyomin, a spokesman for the pipeline operator, said today by phone from Moscow.

TNK-BP reissued a tender to sell a cargo of Russian Urals crude oil for loading next month from Novorossiysk, according to two traders with knowledge of the matter.

The 140,000 ton shipment is for loading Feb. 7 to Feb. 8, two days later than yesterday’s offer, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential. The tender closes today.

West Africa

Benchmark Nigerian Qua Iboe blend fell 2 cents to $2.15 a barrel more than Dated Brent, Bloomberg data show.

The official selling prices for both Bonny Light and Qua Iboe were left unchanged for February at $2.40 a barrel more than Dated Brent, according to NNPC. That’s the biggest premium since May.

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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