Forties Cargoes Sold at Lower Prices; Oseberg Exports to Decline

Three cargoes of North Sea Forties (EUCSFORT) crude were sold at lower prices than yesterday. Total SA failed to buy Russian Urals in the Mediterranean at a narrower discount to Dated Brent.

Exports of North Sea Oseberg grade for May will drop by two lots from this month to seven cargoes, a loading program obtained by Bloomberg News showed.

North Sea

Royal Dutch Shell Plc bought one Forties cargo for loading on April 14 to April 16 from Vitol Group at 20 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent (EUCRBRDT), and a second lot for April 21 to April 23 from BP Plc at 25 cents more than the benchmark, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts trading window. Yesterday, Shell bought one shipment at a premium of 40 cents for April 23 to April 25.

Morgan Stanley bought a cargo for April 17 to April 19 from Trafigura Beheer BV at 10 cents more than Dated Brent, the survey showed.

Total was unable to sell at 30 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent for April 18 to April 20, while Vitol failed to sell one lot for loading on the same dates at a premium of 50 cents, according to the survey.

Shell didn’t manage to buy a third cargo for April 25 to April 29 at 30 cents more than Dated Brent, 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 22 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, compared with a premium of 40 cents yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Brent for May settlement traded at $122.96 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, down from $125.50 yesterday. The June contract was at $122.49, a discount of 47 cents to May.

Shipments of Oseberg will total 4.2 million barrels, or 135,484 barrels a day, down from 180,000 barrels a day in April, according to the plan.

Exports of Troll crude in May will drop by two lots to 15 cargoes, while loadings of Grane will be unchanged from this month at seven shipments of 600,000 barrels each, shipping schedules showed.

One cargo of Forties for loading in April was delayed to May, bringing total deferrals for this month to nine shipments, according to two people with knowledge of the export program.

The consignment with parcel number F0420 was postponed to May from April 26, the first to be delayed to the next month, said the people, who declined to be identified because the information is confidential.

Mediterranean/Urals

Total failed to buy 80,000 metric tons of Urals for April 14 to April 18 delivery to Augusta, Italy, at $2.50 a barrel less than Dated Brent, compared with its previous bid at a discount of $2.70 on April 2, the survey showed.

No bids or offers were made for Urals (EUCSURNW) in northwest Europe for the sixth session. The grade was at an 11-month low of $3.65 a barrel less than Dated Brent in the region, unchanged from yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“The current weakness is largely due to the April export program promising the highest Urals export levels since August 2010, while lower demand from refiners and steady inflows of Middle Eastern barrels have also been weighing on the regional sour crude market,” Johannes Benigni, Vienna-based managing director at JBC Energy GmbH, said today in an e-mailed report.

OAO Surgutneftegas sold three 100,000-ton cargoes of Urals via a tender to Shell and BP for loading from the Baltic Sea port of Primorsk, said three traders, who declined to be identified because the information is confidential.

BP won the consignment for loading on April 21 to April 22, while Shell got one shipment for April 23 to April 24 and another for April 26 to April 27, according to the people.

Saudi Arabian Oil Co. cut differentials used in determining its official selling prices for Arab Light to customers in Northwest Europe and the Mediterranean Sea for May shipments, a person familiar with the pricing decision said.

West Africa

Bharat Petroleum Corp., India’s second-largest state refiner, bought 1 million barrels of Nigerian Akpo crude for loading in May from Glencore International Plc, according to three traders who declined to be identified because the information is confidential.

Nigeria’s benchmark Qua Iboe (AFCSQUA1) blend was at a premium of $2.53 a barrel to Dated Brent, up 2 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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