Mercuria Fails to Buy Forties Oil; Akpo Said to Halt for Repairs

Mercuria Energy Trading SA failed to buy North Sea Forties crude at a higher price than its bid in the previous session. Vitol Group bought Russian Urals, the first trade in the Mediterranean in more than one month.

The Akpo oil and natural-gas field offshore Nigeria will shut for one month of planned maintenance from Oct. 22, said two traders with knowledge of the matter. A Paris-based official at Total SA, the operator of the field, wasn’t able to immediately comment by phone on the matter.

North Sea

A total of four bids were made for Forties for loading on Sept. 12 to Sept. 14 with Mercuria at 80 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, 20 cents more than Aug. 17, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts trading window. Morgan Stanley was bidding at 65 cents, Total at 50 cents and Trafigura Beheer BV at 15 cents, the survey showed.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc offered at a discount of 30 cents to Dated Brent for Sept. 5 to Sept. 7, the survey showed.

Reported crude 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 at 13 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, down from a premium of 16 cents on Aug. 17, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Brent for October settlement traded at $113.96 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, up from $113.94 yesterday. The November contract was at $113.31, a 65 cent discount to October.

Mediterranean/Urals

Vitol bought 80,000 metric tons of Urals for Sept. 2 to Sept. 6 loading from Gunvor Group Ltd. at 10 cents discount to Dated Brent on a delivered basis to Augusta, Italy, the survey of Platts showed. This is the first transaction for the blend since July 4.

In northwest Europe, Vitol didn’t manage to sell 100,000 tons of the blend for Aug. 30 to Sept. 3 loading at 20 cents a barrel less than Dated Brent, while China National United Oil Corp., or Chinaoil, was unable to sell a lot for Sept. 1 to Sept. 5 at a discount of 25 cents, according to the survey.

Total failed to buy 100,000 tons for Sept. 6 to Sept. 10 loading at 80 cents less than Dated Brent, the survey showed.

Urals was at 35 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent in the Mediterranean, compared with a premium of 58 cents on the previous session, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Total bought 600,000 barrels of Azeri Light for Sept. 6 to Sept. 10 loading from Supsa on the Black Sea from Socar Trading SA at $1.95 a barrel more than Dated Brent, on a delivered basis to Augusta, while Socar failed to sell 630,000 barrels of the blend for Aug. 31 to Sept. 4 at a premium of $1.85, the survey showed.

OAO Surgutneftegas sold three Urals cargoes totaling 300,000 tons via a tender for loading from two Baltic Sea ports, said four traders who participate in the market.

Shell was awarded a shipment for Sept. 3 to Sept. 4 from Primorsk, while Total got one from Primorsk for Sept. 4 to Sept. 5 and another from Ust-Luga for Aug. 31 to Sept. 1, according to the people, who declined to be identified because the information is confidential.

TNK-BP sold 100,000 tons of Urals for loading on Sept. 1 to Sept. 2 from Ust-Luga to Chinaoil, four traders involved in the market said.

West Africa

Vitol failed to sell 950,000 barrels of Nigerian Escravos crude for Aug. 27 to Aug. 31 at $2.30 a barrel more than Dated Brent on a delivered basis to Rotterdam or Lavera, France, 20 cents higher than its last offer on Aug. 16, the survey showed.

Nigerian benchmark Qua Iboe rose 2 cents to $1.53 a barrel more than Dated Brent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Shipments of Akpo crude will be reduced to three cargoes of 1 million barrels each in October, three less than September, according to a loading program obtained by Bloomberg News.

Nigeria plans to cut exports of Agbami crude to seven cargoes of 975,000 barrels each in October, one less than September, while loadings of Usan grade will be four 950,000 barrel consignments, unchanged from September, according to separate programs.

Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. bought 600,000 barrels of Gabon’s Rabi Blend crude for loading in September from Shell, said two traders who declined to be identified because the information is confidential.

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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