Vitol Buys Forties Oil at 10-Month High; Oseberg Exports Stable

Vitol Group bought a cargo of North Sea Forties crude at the highest differential in almost 10 months. Trafigura Beheer BV sold a lot of Brent blend.

Exports of North Sea Oseberg grade in February are planned at six cargoes of 600,000 barrels each, unchanged from this month, a loading program obtained by Bloomberg News showed.

North Sea

Royal Dutch Shell Plc. sold Forties lot F0112 for loading from Jan. 21 to Jan. 23 to Vitol at $1.50 a barrel more than Dated Brent, a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window showed. That’s the highest since March 8.

The Geneva-based trader also bought Brent consignment B0104 for Jan. 21 to Jan 23 from Trafigura at a premium of $1.35 to Dated Brent, the survey showed. The cargo was deferred by four days from its original dates, the first postponement of the grade from the January program.

Statoil ASA failed to find a buyer of Oseberg for loading from Jan. 19 to Jan. 21 at $1.90 more than Dated Brent, according to the survey.

Reported crude trading typically occurs during the Platts window, which ends at 4:30 p.m. London time. Forties loading in 10 to 25 days rose to $1.42 more than Dated Brent, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That compares with a 98 cent premium in the previous session and is the most since March 12.

Brent for February settlement traded at $111.28 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, compared with $112.34 in the previous session. The March contract was at $110.05, a discount of $1.23 to February.

Three Ekofisk cargoes that were originally scheduled to load this month will now be shipped in February, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Ekofisk lots C11327 and C11330 were delayed for a second time and will now be shipped from Feb. 2 to Feb. 4 and Feb. 5 to Feb. 7 respectively, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential.

Cargo C11326 has been postponed by three days and will now be exported from Feb. 1 to Feb. 3, according to the people. The loading program for Forties, Brent and Ekofisk will be released on Jan. 7, they said.

Crude shipments from Dansk Undergrunds Consortium, the producer part-owned by A.P. Moeller Maersk A/S, will drop to four lots in February, a loading program obtained by Bloomberg News showed.

Exports will total 2.4 million barrels, or 85,714 barrels a day, compared with 96,774 barrels a day in January, according to the shipping plans.

Mediterranean/Urals

There were no bids or offers for Russian Urals crude for a second day, according to the Platts survey.

The Urals differential to Dated Brent in the Mediterranean was at minus 93 cents, 2 cents narrower than yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In northwest Europe, the discount decreased to $1.29 from $1.31 in the previous session, the data showed.

West Africa

Benchmark Nigerian Qua Iboe blend dropped 3 cents to $2.41 a barrel more than Dated Brent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Refiners in Asia will boost imports of West African crude for loading this month to the most since May as more sales to Taiwan and record purchases of Angolan blends by India offset a drop in Chinese imports from the region.

Asia bought 59 cargoes totaling 1.8 million barrels a day from Angola, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana and Democratic Republic of Congo, according to a survey of five traders and an analysis of loading plans obtained by Bloomberg News. That exceeds the 1.76 million imported in December and is the most in eight months, the survey showed.

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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