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Total Fails to Sell Forties at Two-Year Low; Shell Seeks Urals

Total SA failed to sell a North Sea Forties crude cargo at the lowest price in almost two years. Royal Dutch Shell Plc sought to buy Russian Urals blend in northwest Europe at a smaller discount without success.

Libya’s state-run National Oil Corp. kept its official selling price of benchmark Es Sider crude for May unchanged at $1 a barrel more than Dated Brent, according to a price list obtained by Bloomberg News.

North Sea

Total failed to sell the Forties cargo for the seventh session after lowering the offer to a discount of 80 cents a barrel to Dated Brent, the lowest differential since May 14, 2010, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts trading window. This compares with a trade yesterday at 70 cents less than the benchmark.

Trafigura Beheer BV didn’t find buyers for Forties for loading on April 30 to May 2 at 70 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent, compared with its offer at a discount of 50 cents yesterday, according to the survey.

Shell was unable to sell Forties for May 9 to May 11 at 45 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent, and a shipment of Ekofisk for May 5 to May 7 at a premium of 40 cents a barrel to the benchmark, 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 69 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent, the lowest since May 21, 2010, compared with a discount of 54 cents yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Brent futures for June settlement traded at $116.79 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, down from $118.63 yesterday. The July contract was at $116.75, a discount of 4 cents to June.

Total started drilling an emergency well to halt a natural- gas leak in the U.K. North Sea that’s persisted for more than three weeks.

The rig started the first relief well today off Total’s Elgin platform, the company said in a statement on its Twitter Inc. account. Elgin and the neighbouring Franklin fields supply about 15 percent of the Forties blend, one of four crudes used to make up the Dated Brent.

Mediterranean/Urals

Shell failed to buy 100,000 metric tons of Urals for April 29 to May 3 delivery to Rotterdam at $2.85 a barrel to Dated Brent, and BP Plc didn’t manage to find sellers for the grade for May 1 to May 5 at the same price, according to the survey. The blend last traded at a discount of $3.75 on April 12.

IPC Europe Ltd., a unit of Itochu Corp., was unable to buy 80,000 tons of the crude for May 9 to May 13 delivery to Augusta, Italy, at $2.20 a barrel less than Dated Brent, up from its bid at a discount of $2.70 on April 16, the survey showed.

Urals was unchanged at a one-year low of a discount of $3.83 a barrel to Dated Brent for the third day in northwest Europe, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

OAO Surgutneftegas sold one 100,000-ton cargo each of Urals crude via a tender to Glencore International Plc and Petro- Diamond Inc. for loading from the Baltic Sea port of Primorsk, said three traders who participate in the market.

Petro-Diamond got a shipment for May 2 to May 3 while Glencore was awarded a lot for May 5 to May 6, according to the people, who declined to be identified because the information is confidential.

OAO Rosneft issued a tender to sell 700,000 tons of Urals crude for loading from the Baltic Sea port of Ust-Luga in May and June, said two traders involved in the region’s oil market. The tender closes on April 20.

Libya’s National Oil Corp. shipped 90.5 million barrels of crude from Jan. 1 through March 31, the state-run energy company said on its website today.

West Africa

Trafigura failed to sell 950,000 barrels of Nigerian Bonny Light for May 3 to May 4 loading at $1.50 a barrel more than Dated Brent, compared with its last offer of a premium of $1.75 on April 16, the survey showed.

Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips sold 3 million barrels of Nigerian crude for June loading to Bharat Petroleum Corp., India’s second-largest state refiner, said three traders who declined to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak with the media.

The Indian refiner bought 1 million barrels each of Qua Iboe and Agbami crude from Chevron, and 1 million barrels of Agbami from ConocoPhillips, the traders said.

Qua Iboe blend was at $1.93 a barrel to Dated Brent, the lowest since Nov. 28, compared with a premium of $1.95 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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