Total Buys North Sea Forties Crude; Vitol Fails to Sell Urals

Total SA bought a cargo of North Sea Forties crude for less than a deal yesterday. Vitol Group failed to sell two lots of Russian Urals grade.

PT Pertamina, Indonesia’s state-owned oil company, is seeking to buy low-sulfur crude for delivery during March to its Balikpapan and Cilacap refineries, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg News.

North Sea

Vitol Group sold Forties lot F0104 at 25 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent to Total, a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window showed. That compares with deal at a 60 cent premium in the previous session.

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 fell 17 cents to 58 cents more than Dated Brent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Brent for February settlement traded at $108.77 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, compared with $109.81 in the previous session. The March contract was at $107.95, a discount of 82 cents to February.

Platts said it will leave the discount for Forties cargoes with a high sulfur content unchanged for next month.

Sellers will pay 35 cents a barrel for every 0.1 percentage point of sulfur over that limit in January, unchanged for a fourth month, the company said today in an e-mailed statement.

Mediterranean/Urals

Vitol offered 140,000 metric tons of Mediterranean Urals crude at a 95 cent discount to Dated Brent on a delivered basis to Augusta, Italy, according to the Platts survey.

The company also failed to sell 100,000 tons of the grade at 50 cents less than Dated Brent on a delivered basis to Rotterdam, the survey showed.

The Urals differential to Dated Brent in the Mediterranean narrowed 5 cents to minus 25 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In northwest Europe, the discount to Dated Brent decreased 26 cents to 77 cents, the data showed.

OAO Surgutneftegas, Russia’s fourth-largest oil producer, issued a tender to sell two cargoes of Urals crude for loading next month from two Baltic Sea ports, according to two people with knowledge of the tender.

The company is offering one shipment each from Primorsk and Ust-Luga, both for loading Jan. 13 to Jan. 14, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is not public. Each consignment is of 100,000 tons.

West Africa

Qua Iboe blend dropped 7 cents to $2.61 a barrel more than Dated Brent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Pertamina is seeking oil for delivery to Cilacap from March 1 to March 5 and to Balikpapan from March 7 to March 12, the document showed. The tender closes at 11 a.m Singapore time on Dec. 27 and bids must be valid until 6 p.m. the next day.

The company bought 950,000 barrels each of Nigeria’s Qua Iboe and Libya’s Amna crude as well as 650,000 barrels of Azeri Light oil for March delivery in an earlier tender, a company official, who asked not to be named because he isn’t authorized to speak to the media, said today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rupert Rowling in London at rrowling@bloomberg.net

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

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