Total Sells Forties; Asian Imports of West African Crude to Fall

Total SA sold a North Sea Forties crude cargo at the lowest price in almost two years after offering the same shipment for seven days. No bids or offers were made for Russian Urals blend in Europe.

Asian refiners will reduce daily imports of West African crude in May by 3.6 percent to the lowest in five months, a survey of five traders and an analysis of loading programs obtained by Bloomberg News showed.

North Sea

Total sold the Forties cargo for May 2 to May 4 loading to Royal Dutch Shell Plc at 85 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent, the smallest differential since May 14, 2010, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts trading window. This compares with the last trade at a discount of 70 cents to the benchmark on April 17.

Total also bought a shipment for May 9 to May 11 from Shell at 50 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent, the survey showed.

Statoil ASA failed to sell Forties for May 8 to May 10 at 50 cents less than Dated Brent, according to the survey.

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 80 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent, the lowest since May 19, 2010, compared with a discount of 69 cents yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Brent futures for June settlement traded at $118.43 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, up from $116.79 yesterday. The July contract was at $118.25, a discount of 18 cents to June.

A Forties cargo for loading in May was delayed by one day, the first to be delayed in next month’s schedule, according to two people with knowledge of the export program.

The shipment with parcel number F0504 was postponed to May 8 to May 10, said the people, who declined to be identified because the information is confidential.

The share of Buzzard crude in the Forties blend fell to 46 percent in the week to April 15, from 49 percent a week earlier, BP Plc said on its website.

A booking by Chevron Corp. to hire an oil tanker that would have carried North Sea crude to South Korea in May was canceled, according to Optima Shipbrokers Ltd.

The Achilleas, a very large crude carrier, was scheduled to load 270,000 metric tons of crude from Hound Point terminal in Scotland on May 3 and head to South Korea at a cost of $7.75 million, Athens-based Optima and other shipbrokers said in reports on April 16.

Mediterranean/Urals

Urals was at $2.80 a barrel to Dated Brent in northwest Europe, up from the one-year low of a discount of $3.83 a barrel yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Shell and BP failed to buy two cargoes of Urals in northwest Europe yesterday at $2.85 a barrel less than Dated Brent, compared with a bid at a discount of $3.90 on April 17.

OAO Surgutneftegas sold 100,000 tons of the blend via a tender to Glencore International Plc for loading on May 3 to May 4 from Ust-Luga on the Baltic Sea, said two traders who participate in the market.

West Africa

Trafigura didn’t manage to sell 950,000 barrels of Nigerian Bonny Light crude for May 10 to May 11 loading at $1.20 a barrel more than Dated Brent, 30 cents lower than its offer yesterday, the survey showed.

A total of 59 cargoes are scheduled for export from Angola, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon, one less than in April, according to the survey. This equals 56.1 million barrels, or 1.81 million barrels a day, the lowest since December, compared with 1.88 million this month.

Indian Oil Corp. bought 1 million barrels of Nigerian EA and Bonny Light crudes for loading in June from Shell in a tender, three traders who participate in the market said.

Indonesia’s PT Pertamina is seeking to buy low-sulfur crude cargoes of either 600,000 barrels or 950,000 barrels to be delivered to its Cilacap refinery in July, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg News. The tender will be awarded on April 25.

India’s Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. shut the entire facility in southern India because of a water shortage, P.P. Upadhyay, the technical director, said by telephone today. The company last week bought 600,000 barrels of Qua Iboe for June loading from Vitol Group via a tender.

Qua Iboe blend was at $1.79 a barrel to Dated Brent, the lowest since Nov. 23, compared with a premium of $1.93 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

Bloomberg reserves the right to edit or remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.