Bloomberg News

BP Sells North Sea Forties Crude; Troll Exports Said to Rise

March 08, 2013

BP Plc (BP/) sold a cargo of Forties crude in the North Sea at a discount to May cargoes, dropping from a premium last week.

Exports of North Sea Troll crude in April will rise to 13 cargoes, one more than this month, according to a person with knowledge of the program who declined to be identified.

North Sea

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) bought the Forties cargo for loading March 23 to March 25 at 55 cents a barrel less than the price of Brent, Forties, Oseberg and Ekofisk grades for delivery in May, a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window showed. That compares with a trade at a 70-cent premium to May BFOE on March 1.

Trafigura offered, without success, to sell the grade for loading March 27 to March 29 at a discount of 10 cents a barrel to Dated Brent. Statoil failed to sell a cargo for loading March 24 to March 26 at 25 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent. The grade changed hands at a three-month low yesterday at a discount of 35 cents.

Troll’s loading schedule was the latest to be released. Daily exports of BFOE grades will increase by 8 percent in April from this month, loading programs obtained by Bloomberg News showed yesterday.

The North Sea Brent pipeline system is approaching its targeted flow rate of 80,000 barrels a day, according to an official at the system’s operator Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. (TAQA), or Taqa, who declined to be identified, citing company policy.

Flows through the system started yesterday after a five-day halt due to a leak at Taqa’s Cormorant Alpha platform. Brent crude futures dropped to the lowest this year after the pipeline started.

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 to a discount of 30 cents to Dated Brent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with a discount of 20 cents yesterday and is the lowest since Nov. 29.

Brent for April settlement traded at $109.84 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, compared with $111.09 in the previous session. The May contract was at $109.30, a discount of 54 cents to April.

Mediterranean/Urals

There were no bids or offers for Russian Urals crude in either northwest Europe or the Mediterranean, according to the Platts survey.

The Urals discount to Dated Brent in the Mediterranean narrowed by 7 cents to $2.38 a barrel, data compiled by Bloomberg show. In northwest Europe, the discount was at $2.77 a barrel, compared with $2.81 yesterday.

West Africa

Benchmark Nigerian Qua Iboe blend increased 7 cents to $3.44 a barrel more than Dated Brent, Bloomberg data show.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lananh Nguyen in London at lnguyen35@bloomberg.net

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


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